If you are like most computer users, even if you have been very cautious when surfing the web, you almost never think about reviewing the permissions being asked by browser extensions whenever you install them. It is very easy to lose sight of such things and unfortunately, hackers are well aware of this.
Given this fact, browser extensions have become one of the newest threats when it comes to hacking.
There are things that browser extensions can do and basic websites cannot. Doliere Francis, an Enterprising researcher, studied the world of browser extensions in an effort to determine if they can be used to bypass Same Origin Policy or SOP, which prevents data sharing between websites with different domains.
During the course of her research, she studied over 75,000 Chrome, Firefox, and Opera extensions. Even though her study showed that it was not common, she managed to confirm in about 197 cases, she discovered that yes, it was possible.
Out of the 197 instances that she discovered 171 of it were Chrome extensions. This does not mean that Chrome is less secure compared to the other browsers. It shows that Chrome has several browser extensions than the other two browsers that were used in her research.
Although this is a worrying discovery, it is not something that you will probably come across or need to spend significant resources to protect you against the online threat. As a matter of fact, the easiest way to guard yourself is to stop extensions from communicating with other web pages on their own. However, you should also know that this can affect other legitimate extensions and prevent them from functioning properly.
Ideally, browser vendors should analyze the extension behavior first before offering them to the public. However, this is unlikely to happen. Once again, it is not a common issue that requires a lot of resources.
In any case, it is still important for you to be know this so you can check the permissions of the browser extensions you are using. It is still better to be safe than sorry, right?
Call Spartan Tech if you need more information on how to keep your computer and personal or business information secure from online threats.
Spartan Tec Inc
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577