MEGA Chrome extension hacked with cryptocurrency malware

MEGA Chrome extension hacked with cryptocurrency malware

Cloud storage solution MEGA delivered Monero cryptocurrency malware.

21st-century technologies like blockchain are regarded as groundbreaking inventions. However, the security aspect of the new age digital systems has always been criticized for being lackluster and flawed. This concern is reinforced frequently as digital technologies are successfully compromised quite often. According to the latest reports, file-sharing cloud storage service MEGA established by Kim Dotcom, is the latest victim of hacking.

According to reports, MEGA was hacked due to a compromised Chrome browser extension. Hackers were able to successfully upload an infected version of Chrome extension v3.39.4 to Google Play Store. MEGA remained hacked for five hours and anyone who installed the extension during this time got the accounts hacked. It must be noted that MEGA Chrome extension is a tool that helps in improving the browser’s performance by decreasing the loading time of webpages and offers a safe and secure cloud storage service.

The affected services include famous cryptocurrency wallets like MyEtherWallet, decentralized assets exchange service IDEX, and MyMonero. Amongst the targeted services, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are included. The number of accounts that got compromised due to the attack is yet unknown. However, it is clear that the extension can steal Monero cryptocurrency.

News about the hack attack started spreading like wildfire on Tuesday morning when affected individuals started posting on Reddit and Twitter about the hacking of MEGA through a malicious Chrome extension. This extension was downloaded millions of times all over the world. Some users stated that the malicious code allowed the extension to collect classified and sensitive private data from famous websites across the internet.

A warning was posted from the official Twitter account of Monero (XMR) in which XMR holders were asked to not use MEGA. In-depth analysis reveals that not only popular websites but crypto-related websites have also been targeted. As noted by renowned Monero developer, Ricardo Spagni, that Monero and Ethereum private keys may get stolen if they have stored crypto on either MyEtherWallet or MyMonero using the MEGA Chrome extension v3.39.4.

“Please note that if you visited any site or made use of another extension that sends plain-text credentials while the trojaned extension was active, consider that your credentials were compromised on these sites and/or applications,” warns MEGA in its official statement following the hack.

MEGA claims that the hacking has resulted from a hacked webstore account on Google. Somehow, a hacker logged in using the official Play Store account of Google and uploaded an update that contained crypto stealing malware. Upon getting installed, the “trojaned version of MEGA’s Chrome extension” asks for elevated permissions such as permission to read and change the data on websites that you visit.

It must be noted that original Chrome extension doesn’t ask for this permission. The company also claims that the stolen data was transmitted to a server located in Ukraine. Currently, the MEGA Chrome is unavailable for downloading on Google Chrome Webstore. When visited the webpage showed 404 error which means that the extension has been deleted by Google.

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