Hackers can now grab your personal info through PNG files

by Claudiu Andone
Claudiu Andone
Claudiu Andone
Windows & Software Expert
Oldtimer in the tech and science press, Claudiu is focused on whatever comes new from Microsoft. His abrupt interest in computers started when he saw the first Home... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The developer of the Dark Reader extension recently found copycat extensions on the Microsoft Store and Mozilla AMO.
  • If you have the infected extension, you're going to see This extension contains malware message.
  • If you want to get up to speed with the latest and greatest, check out our dedicated Browser Extensions section.
  • The security of your computer and digital privacy should be your top priorities. Head over to our Security & Privacy Hub for everything you need to know about that.
malware extension issue
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If you’re more than a vampire and you avoid even the excessive light coming from your computer screen, you’re probably using a dark theme.

The Dark Reader extension is a pretty popular dark theme extension for your browser. However, extensions can sometimes be more than you bargained for.

How can I avoid malware extensions?

The latest period was all about keeping yourself safe from a pouring onslaught of malware attacks.

In this rush storm, the developer of Dark Reader recently found out that copycat extensions made their appearance on the Microsoft Store and Mozilla AMO.

He took the matter seriously and analyzed the extensions that proved to be infected with malware.

The wrongdoers included malicious code that was hidden inside a png file. According to his own blog post:

A malicious code was hidden and encoded in a *.png file. In 5 days it downloaded and executed another code, that was collecting data from web pages using fake forms, and later sent this data to a remote server.

Of course, he solved the problem by contacting Microsoft who took down the extensions from its Extensions Store.

If you have the new Edge browser and you installed the extension prior to this fix, you should see it flagged when you try to open the list of installed extensions in the Microsoft browser.

this extension contains malware

You’re going to see a warning saying that This extension contains malware.

How can I stay away from potentially harmful extensions?

The developer also includes a list of things you should do to stay safe from malware extensions.

Using extensions made by Trusted Companies or using recommended Extensions for Firefox are among his top recommendations.

Other solutions to stay safe also include using open-source extensions or paid ones.

Of course, if you want to make sure that your personal data remains untouched, you can always check the extension’s name manually, read the reviews for each of them, and always protect your accounts.

However, to add another layer of security to your PC you can always count on anti-malware tools. Check out this handy list to find the best ones on the market right now.

If you have any questions or suggestions, make sure you write us a line in the comments section below.

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