New Chrome scam injects a malicious font update into your PC

Edward Hudson By: Edward Hudson
2 minute read

Security firm Proofpoint uncovered a scam last month that could push malicious script onto Google Chrome for Windows, infecting your computer. A month later, the scam remains unaddressed. Cybersecurity experts are now warning Chrome users about the persistent malware that comes in the form of a font update for the browser.

The malicious script specifically targets insecure web pages by rewriting the compromised page on the infected Chrome browser. This technique is a form of social engineering, which makes the web page in question hard to read so that a fake font issue is created. Attackers will then lure users into downloading and installing the fake font update to resolve the problem. Proofpoint explained the scam:

The pages are rendered unreadable by storing all the data between HTML tags in an array and iterating over them to replace them with “&#0”, which is not a proper ISO character; as a result, the replacement character � [9] will be displayed instead.

Attackers then present the user with a window that provides details of the “issue” and a “solution.” In reality, the supposed solution is the fake font update pack that contains malware. The security company added:

We believe this campaign began on December 10, 2016; since that time, the downloaded executable “Chrome_Font.exe” is actually a type of ad fraud malware known as Fleercivet.

At this stage, users will remain uninfected if they do not execute the downloaded file.

Proofpoint said last month that while the scam was not new, it was notable for merging social engineering and targeting of Chrome users. The security firm warned about other forms of threats where attackers could exploit the human factor and trick users into loading the malware themselves.

Have you encountered this scam over the past couple of weeks? How did you go about it? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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