According to recent blog postings Google made the decision to pull two Chrome extensions for pushing malware on their users.

According to The Wall Street Journal the malware purveyors took advantage of an existing extension's user base and Chrome's security standards. "Google doesn't review changes to the code of Chrome extensions, and Chrome allows extensions to be updated and pushed to users' computers automatically."

Google has since removed both applications from its store, but the practice of spreading malware through Chrome extensions could continue to be a potential threat a long as they rely on user reviews to police the extension store.

Unfortunately, regardless of the browser hackers will continue to strive to find browser weaknesses and focus on vulnerable endpoints.  To keep your Microsoft IE browser as safe as possible Microsoft provides guidelines to proactively address browser hijacking.  See  (http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/browser-hijacking.aspx). 

Keeping your devices updated with the latest security fixes and practicing safe internet browsing will go a long way towards avoiding security mishaps. Antivirus software is included with Windows 8 to address malware that manages to bypass an organization's firewall and is also available for earlier versions of Windows as well (Microsoft Security Essentials). Finally, disable add-on browser extensions that you don’t want or need to avoid device slow down and/or unwanted pop-ups from occurring.

Kathleen Molosky 2013

Kathleen Molosky, PTS