Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Extensions Collected Private Data For More Than 4M Users

Most people that are browsing the web find their experience lacking or annoying. Each individual has specific needs and preferences while surfing the web. This is where customization with the help of browser extensions comes in. Advertisement blockers are probably the most popular, but there are also grammar checkers, night mode activators, and the list goes on. The problem is that there have been reports that popular Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox extensions have been collecting user data and possibly profiting from it.

The private data collection process

The report says that the process in which data collecting extensions operate is quite sneaky and sophisticated. Installed browser extensions are inactive for a few days. This creates a sort of transparency effect where the users are given a state of safety and security.

Some of these extensions under the DataSpii designation have been built with extremely subtle code that operates in a sequential, gradual process that is meant to avoid detection. During three weeks, the extensions received two separate updates.

The last update they received prompted them to communicate the user’s browsing history and other confidential information to servers that were controlled by developers. This was done by sending miniature versions of Javascript files that can be compared with microfilm. This was a spycraft technique that was meant to pass along information without others taking notice.

The list of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox extensions that collected private data

Several Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox extensions have been found guilty of collecting user data. The security researchers have identified these extensions so far and believe that around 4 million users have had their data stolen. The harmful Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox extensions that collected private data are:

  • Fairshock Unlock
  • SpeakIt!
  • Hover Zoom
  • PanelMeasurement
  • Helper
  • Branded Surveys
  • Panel Community Surveys

The following data have been collected, according to the reports:

  • Nest Home and Business Videos
  • Microsoft OneDrive,, and other online services tax and business data
  • Vehicle transaction information
  • DrChrono patient information
  • Priceline,, and additional airline website travel information
  • Facebook Messenger attachments and photos

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