The early days of the internet were comparable to the wild west only, you know, digital. And instead of prospecting towns there was Limewire. And instead of guns and bullets it was copies of LinkinPark_Numb.mp3. At any rate, it was a dangerous time to be wandering the world wide web unprotected, as malware, trojan horses and the like were hiding around every turn, ready to infect your family computer. The very, very tangential point I’m trying to make may be strained, but I hope you’ve understood it.
Nowadays, the internet feels like a much safer place – at least as far as things like firewalls, antivirus’ and two factor authentication go, our daily outings on the net don’t feel particularly dangerous. However, there are still murky pieces of software out there that we occasionally need to look out for.
Check out this ex-hacker explaining how to keep yourself protected out there.
Most recently, cybersecurity experts have warned us about a new piece of malware called ChromeLoader, that despite its rather innocuous name, can do some nasty things. As reported by PC Gamer, researchers at Red Canary state that ChromeLoader can take over your browser and manipulate your search results in an attempt to get you to click on malicious sites and steal your user data. Yeah, that’s gonna be a yikes from me.
Despite its title, ChromeLoader doesn’t just affect PCs and those using Google Chrome, it also affects OS systems like Safari, too. According to Red Canary, “ChromeLoader is delivered by an ISO file, typically masquerading as a torrent or cracked video game. It appears to spread through pay-per-install sites and social media platforms such as Twitter.
“Once downloaded and executed, the .ISO file is extracted and mounted as a drive on the victim’s machine. Within this ISO is an executable used to install ChromeLoader, along with what appears to be a .NET wrapper for the Windows Task Scheduler. This is how ChromeLoader maintains its persistence on the victim’s machine later in the intrusion chain.”
There’s more to read on the Red Canary blog post if you’re particularly concerned, but as PC Gamer notes, the best protection you can afford yourself is to just steer clear of torrent sites. If you do go on them, use extreme caution with what you’re downloading and make sure you comb through the contents of downloads as best you can.