Google Chrome users trying to download pirated software that risks new malware infections


Singapore – Internet users, especially those using Google’s Chrome browser, should think twice before illegally downloading video games or other software.

Software researchers warn of ChromeLoader, malware that masquerades as pirated digital files to allow hackers to steal data or install ransomware on infected computers.

“We have seen this malware distributed through ads, browser redirects, and YouTube video comments using malicious ISO and DMG files,” said Singapore Computer Emergency, a Singapore cybersecurity agency. The response team (SingCert) issued an alert on Wednesday. .

An ISO file is a digital copy of the content that was originally on a DVD or CD. It is often used as a backup of the contents within a disc.

Files can be accessed using appropriate software on devices running Windows operating systems, just as they are read from DVDs and CDs.

A DMG file is an ISO version of an Apple device.

Most pirated versions of software or video games available online tend to be in ISO or DMG format.

According to a report released Monday by security firm VMware Carbon Black, cybercriminals typically distribute ChromeLoader on social media platforms, torrents, and pirate websites via ISO files masquerading as pirated software. Malware is sometimes bundled with actual pirated software.

The malware is activated when the user downloads and runs the ISO file “install” program.

VMware also pointed to examples of OpenSubtitles, which helps users find subtitles for popular movies and TV shows, and ChromeLoader, which mimics legitimate programs such as the online music player FLB Music.

In such cases, the malware is triggered when the user tries to install the downloaded program.

VMware says the impact of malware infections varies.

Some ChromeLoader variants cause the device to download and install Chrome extensions. It changes your browser settings to display search results of unwanted advertising websites.

Some also release programs that steal information from infected devices, install ransomware, or overload the system with data to crash the system.

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