We try to keep you updated on all major cyber security issues here at Softonic as we know that there are many modern threats out there trying to catch us with our guard down. The name of this new and growing threat, ChromeLoader illustrates the nature of these attempts well. It sounds innocuous and just like a legitimate file you may have to download if you want to install and run Google Chrome on your device. We’ll look into this threat further below, but we would just like to remind you that you should only download files and apps from sources you can trust, like Softonic.
According to malware detection and response specialists, Red Canary, who have been investigating the threat, it is targeting macOS and Windows users. They also say that they have been following the ChromeLoader since February and that its threat level has risen significantly over the last few months.
The scam involves placing the ChromeLoader malware inside fake torrent files that are advertised as containing cracks and cheats for software and games. They are even using fake social media accounts to push the fake torrent links. Red Canary also states that are QR codes doing the rounds that will take people to sites that are riddled with the malware.
Once it makes its way onto a victim’s machine, the ChromeLoader malware will pull an archive from a server and install it as a Chrome extension. It will then delete that task so that there is no record of its existence. Once there, the malware can actually alter the browser settings and cause fake search results to show that will send the victim to all manner of infected sites and pages, such as fake giveaways or dating sites.
As always with these types of malware, the best line of defense is to prevent them from ever getting onto your machine in the first place. For this, we strongly recommend you check out our infographic that will teach you how to detect phishing scams.