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Concerns about AdBlock and malware AdBlock Support
The official browser extension stores and our website, getadblock.com, are the only safe places to get AdBlock. If you installed AdBlock (or an extension with a similar name to AdBlock) from anywhere else, it may contain adware or malware that can infect your computer. AdBlock is open source software, which means that anyone can take our code and use it for their own, sometimes nefarious, purposes. And unfortunately, there have been issues with fake ad blockers pretending to be popular ad blockers (such as AdBlock) for the sole purpose of spreading malware.
If you believe you may have downloaded a fake version of AdBlock, here's what we recommend you do:
Uninstall the extension(s) Exit your browser Open your browser (if you sync your browser settings across computers, be sure you're signed in to your synced profile) Confirm that sync no longer installs the extension automatically (if it does, try these suggestions) Remove malware from your computer, if needed To install the real AdBlock, visit www.getadblock.com/ and click Get AdBlock Now
This should make sure you're installing a clean copy of AdBlock after removing any trace of malware the bad extension may have left behind.
The chrome web store is more prone to malicious software/extensions and untrustworthy developers as compared to the Google Play Store. Even though the Android Store is safer, the Chrome Web Store has had several problems stemming from the malign intent of developers that upload virus-induced software that not only steals consumers’ data but also causes them financial loss in this era of online realm.
Their recent attempt of policy update revealed to the general populace and developers in an a blog post that highlighted the efforts made by the company and underlined the updated policy. Chrome team outlined the set of three major policy updates of a more safe chrome web store.
The blog post identified the continuous efforts of Google over the years to help assist their users in downloading safe and helpful chrome extensions. In order to increase the efficiency of the chrome web store, Google has always initiated practices that work for the well-being of its users. These updates are aimed to decrease the deceptive tactics employed by developers
The first of these updates included the limiting of one on one extension downloads. This refers to the existence of one extension prompting a download of a second extension for better and more efficient working. This also restricted multiple extensions download at the same time. For example, while downloading a single extension, it will no longer be able to prompt you to download a second extension for the first one to work.
The second of these updates limited the selling capacity of extensions. This update restricted extensions from upselling other extensions and only limits them to utilize their own. This can be understood by the example, such that one extension can no longer advertise a second extension or product to the consumer.
The third of these updates was the one Google has practiced over several of its products and its introduction brought relief to those users whose Google IDs were hacked. The introduction of a two-step authentication process helped in streamlining the process of eliminating hacking. This was previously implemented in all Gmail accounts already.
Furthermore, Google has extended this policy of two-step authentication to Google Play Store as well in an attempt to regulate and make the store safe for users. The browsing giant Firefox also followed in head-on heels to integrate the two-step authentication for Firefox extension developers as well from March 2021.
During the past year, 58% of all cyberattacks observed by Microsoft from nation-states have come from Russia. And attacks from Russian nation-state actors are increasingly effective, jumping from a 21% successful compromise rate last year to a 32% rate this year. Russian nation-state actors are increasingly targeting government agencies for intelligence gathering, which jumped from 3% of their targets a year ago to 53% – largely agencies involved in foreign policy, national security or defense. The top three countries targeted by Russian nation-state actors were the United States, Ukraine and the UK.
These are just a few of the insights in the second annual Microsoft Digital Defense Report, which we released today and can be viewed for free here. The Microsoft Digital Defense Report covers the period from July 2020 to June 2021, and its findings cover trends across nation-state activity, cybercrime, supply chain security, hybrid work and disinformation.
Russia is not the only nation-state actor evolving its approaches, and espionage is not the only purpose for nation-state attacks this year.
After Russia, the largest volume of attacks we observed came from North Korea, Iran and China; South Korea, Turkey (a new entrant to our reporting) and Vietnam were also active but represent much less volume. While espionage is the most common goal for nation-state attacks, some attacker activities reveal other goals, including: Iran, which quadrupled its targeting of Israel in the past year and launched destructive attacks among heightened tensions between the two countries North Korea, which targeted cryptocurrency companies for profit as its economy was decimated by sanctions and Covid-19 21% of attacks we observed across nation-state actors targeted consumers and 79% targeted enterprises with the most targeted sectors being government (48%), NGOs and think tanks (31%), education (3%), intergovernmental organizations (3%), IT (2%), energy (1%) and media (1%). While China is not unique in its goal of information collection, it has been notable that several Chinese actors have used a range of previously unidentified vulnerabilities. HAFNIUM attacks targeting on-premises Exchange Servers have been well publicized, but, in addition to the zero-day vulnerability used in those attacks, Microsoft detected and reported a Pulse Secure VPN zero day and a SolarWinds zero day earlier this year, both being exploited by Chinese actors.
China is also using its intelligence gathering for a variety of purposes. One Chinese actor, CHROMIUM, has been targeting entities in India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand to glean social, economic and political intelligence about its neighboring countries. Another Chinese actor, NICKEL, has targeted government foreign ministries in Central and South America and Europe. As China’s influence shifts with the country’s Belt and Road Initiative, we expect these actors will continue to use cyber intelligence gathering for insight into investments, negotiations and influence. Finally, Chinese actors are remarkably persistent; even after we disclosed China’s attempts to conduct intelligence collection against individuals involved in the 2020 election, its actor ZIRCONIUM continued its activity during Election Day.
In total, we’ve notified customers 20,500 times about attempts by all nation-state actors to breach their systems in the past three years. To be clear, Microsoft does not observe every global cyberattack. For example, we have limited visibility into attacks targeting on-premises systems that organizations manage themselves, like the Exchange Server attacks earlier this year, and attacks targeting customers of other technology providers. We believe sharing the data we do have on these threats is helpful to customers, policymakers and the broader security community, and we invite others to share what they’re seeing with their visibility. The good news is that our visibility into threats and our ability to help stop them will continue to grow as more organizations move to the cloud.
Cybercrime – especially ransomware – remains a serious and growing plague as evidenced in this year’s Microsoft Digital Defense Report. But while nation-state actors mostly target victims with useful information, cybercriminals target victims with money. As a result, the targets often have a different profile. Cybercrime attacks on critical infrastructure – such as the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline – often steal the headlines. However, the top five industries targeted in the past year based on ransomware engagements by our Detection and Response Team (DART) are consumer retail (13%), financial services (12%), manufacturing (12%), government (11%) and health care (9%). The United States is by far the most targeted country, receiving more than triple the ransomware attacks of the next most targeted nation. The U.S. is followed by China, Japan, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
In the past year, the “cybercrime-as-a-service” economy transitioned from a nascent but rapidly growing industry to a mature criminal enterprise. Today, anyone, regardless of technical knowledge, can access a robust online marketplace to purchase the range of services needed to execute attacks for any purpose. The marketplace has three components. First, as demand has increased, criminals are increasingly focused on specializing in differentiated off-the-shelf infection kits and increasing their use of automation, driving down their costs and growing their scale. We’ve seen kits that sell for as little as $66. Second, separate suppliers provide compromised credentials needed to access people’s systems and deploy the kits. We’ve observed credentials selling from $1 to $50 each, depending on the perceived value of the target. Third, cryptocurrency escrow services serve as brokers between buyers and sellers to ensure the kits and credentials perform as offered. We’ve also begun to identify sophisticated kits that not only provide victim data to the criminal who purchased and deployed the kit but also secretly provide the data to the entity that created the kit.