Chrome users, stay alert: Malware may be just one click away

Emre Çitak
May 9, 2023

A new malware campaign targeting Google Chrome users has been detected. The malware is distributed through a fake Google Chrome update error message, which prompts users to download an update to fix a supposed security issue. Unfortunately, the update is actually a ZIP file containing an EXE file inside. The EXE file contains a Monero miner, which will use the user's computer processing power to mine cryptocurrency for the attackers.

The malware campaign has been operational since February 2023 and has a large impact area. As reported by NTTSecurity, the fake error message is distributed when visiting legitimate or compromised websites. The prompt message reads "An error occurred in Chrome automatic update. Please install the update package manually later, or wait for the next automatic update".

This malware attack can have serious consequences for users, including data theft and financial losses. Mining cryptocurrency requires a lot of power, which can lead to increased energy bills for the user. Additionally, the malware can cause the user's computer to slow down, become unresponsive, and vulnerable to further attacks.

Chrome fake error message malware
Chrome fake error message malware - Image courtesy of NTTSecurity

How to protect yourself from the Chrome fake error message malware attack?

The Chrome fake error message is designed to trick users and looks realistic. But that doesn't mean it's impossible to avoid it.

Step 1: Do not click on any prompts that appear on a website. Avoid clicking on links from unknown sources.

Step 2: Always be cautious of what you download on your device. Verify the authenticity of the source before downloading. It is important to be mindful of the risks associated with downloading files from untrusted sources, as this can compromise the security of your device and put your personal information at risk.

Step 3: To update Chrome, visit Chrome's About section. The latest update is generally the most secure. You should always verify that the update is coming from a legitimate source before downloading.

Updates are important

Updating your browser is an important step in maintaining the security of your device. As security threats evolve, browser developers update their software to patch vulnerabilities and provide improved security features. Regularly updating your browser can help protect you from the latest security threats and keep your data safe.

In addition to security updates, browser updates can also provide performance improvements and new features. By keeping your browser up-to-date, you can ensure that you are benefiting from the latest developments in web technology and enjoying the best browsing experience possible.

Chrome fake error message malware
Keeping your device updated is the best way to avoid Chrome fake error message malware

Do not say ''It's just malware''

Malware infections can have serious consequences for users, ranging from data theft and financial losses to system crashes and other types of damage. Malware can be used to steal personal information, such as login credentials and financial data, or to cause harm to your device by corrupting files, deleting data, or interfering with system processes.

Malware can be distributed through a variety of means, including email attachments, malicious websites, and infected software downloads. It is important to be vigilant when browsing the web and downloading software and to take steps to protect your device from malware infections.


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