Did you notice the Google Chrome Extension for Adobe Acrobat when you opened Chrome today? If you did and you clicked on Remove button, you are probably safe but if you chose to let the extension be added to your browser, you might be in trouble.
On Tuesday, Adobe released latest updates to fix security issues and vulnerabilities identified in Adobe Reader. However, according to SwiftOnSecurity, the Google Chrome extension is something else. It is not meant to fix vulnerabilities but to extract data from the system. It also asks for various permissions such as Read and Change the entire data you have entered on websites that you often visit, managing downloads for you and create links with other applications. This plugin asks permission for three things:
“Read and change all data on the websites you visit,” “manage your downloads,” and “communicate with cooperating native applications.”
The extension gets installed on the system discreetly and includes telemetry features for data collection. The data is sent to Adobe’s servers, which the company claims is just information about browser type and version installed on the system and no personal data is being collected. But still, combining a Chrome extension into a security update is quite suspicious an act considering that users are going to install it unknowingly.
The extension has been named Adobe Acrobat and it automatically gets added to Chrome while the system is installing Adobe’s latest update. But, it does require users’ permission for its activation on the system. However, users are not prompted to let it be installed on the system while the security patch is deployed and therefore, it is evident that Adobe is trying to embed telemetry data collection extension on systems where Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed.
The main purpose of Adobe Reader is to let users convert any website into a PDF file and open the file in the reader. However, this cannot happen unless you install a paid version of Acrobat.