Newly conducted research by cybersecurity expert indicates that some ad blocker in Chrome and Firefox steals user data. We generally use adblocker extensions for better security and easiness in browsing. However, research by Sam Jadali proved that they are stealing user data. He has subsequently found eight extensions that stole browsing details and some sensitive data of users. Jadali’s report was first published in ArsTechnica by Dan Goodin. Research shows that there have been data leaks of various types from the past seven months affecting 4 million users:
- Security surveillance videos;
- Credit card details, Tax return, bills and more;
- Vehicles number and owner details;
- Medical and travel details of people.
Such details were fed to different websites and organizations. For instance, Nachos Analytics had data from such extensions. Nachos Analytics published subsequently gathered data for a fee-based service. From Jadali’s report on DataSpii (the term used to describe this act), extensions with the threat are:
- FairShare Unlock;
- Hover Zoom;
- Super Zoom;
- SaveFrom.net helper;
- Branded Surveys and Panel Community Surveys.
It is recommended to remove any of the extension if you already have. In addition, Google and Mozilla have taken steps to remove these extensions. However, as a user, one must be cautious to remove them and change suspected passwords if necessary. Meanwhile, you should also follow precautions for safer browsing. It is advisable not to install extensions and ad blockers from unknown sources.