New Delhi: Internet users should exercise caution while installing Google Chrome extensions as the company has removed over 100 malicious links after they were found collecting "sensitive" user data, country's cyber security agency said on Wednesday.
The Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In), the national technology arm to combat cyber attacks and guard the Indian cyber space, said it has also been found that these extensions contained code to bypass Google Chrome's web store security scans.
The malicious extensions had the ability to take screenshots, read the clipboard, harvest authentication cookies or grab user keystrokes to read passwords and other confidential information, it said.
"It has been reported that Google has removed 106 extensions of the Google Chrome browser from the chrome web store which were found collecting sensitive user data," the agency said in the advisory.
"These extensions, reportedly posed as tools to improve web searches, convert files between different formats as security scanners and more," it added.
The federal cyber security agency suggested users to uninstall Google Chrome extensions with IDs given in the IOCs (organisational chart) section.
Users can visit the chrome extensions page and subsequently enable developer mode to see if they have installed any of the malicious extensions and then remove them from their browsers, it said.
The agency advised Internet users to only install extensions which are absolutely needed and refer user reviews before doing so. They should uninstall extensions which are not in use, it said, adding that users should not install extensions from unverified sources.
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Hong Kong, Oct 25: Amnesty International said Monday it would close its two offices in Hong Kong this year, becoming the latest non-governmental organization to cease its operations amid a crackdown on political dissent in the city.
The human rights group said its local office in Hong Kong would close this month while its regional office will close by the end of the year, with regional operations moved to other offices in the Asia-Pacific region.
This decision, made with a heavy heart, has been driven by Hong Kong's national security law, which has made it effectively impossible for human rights organizations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government, Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chair of Amnesty's board, said in a statement.
Hong Kong implemented a sweeping national security law in 2020 following months of massive anti-government protests. The law outlaws secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and foreign collusion to intervene in the city's affairs. More than 120 people, many of them supporters of the city's democracy movement, have been arrested under the law.
The majority of the city's prominent pro-democracy activists are behind bars for taking part in unauthorized assemblies, and dozens of political organizations and trade unions have ceased operations out of concern for their members' personal safety under the security law.
Bais said the recent targeting of local human rights and trade union groups signaled authorities were intensifying their campaign to rid the city of dissenting voices. It is increasingly difficult for us to keep operating in such an unstable environment, she said.
Critics in Hong Kong say the national security law is an erosion of freedoms, such as those of expression and assembly, that were promised the city for 50 years when the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997.