Compromised websites (legitimate sites that have been successfully compromised to support social engineering) are serving visitors fake Google Chrome update error messages.
“Google Chrome users who use the browser regularly should be wary of a new attack campaign that distributes malware by posing as a Google Chrome update error message,” Trend Micro warns. “The attack campaign has been operational since February 2023 and has a large impact area.”
The message displayed reads, “UPDATE EXCEPTION. An error occurred in Chrome automatic update. Please install the update package manually later, or wait for the next automatic update.” A link is provided at the bottom of the bogus error message that takes the user to what’s misrepresented as a link that will support a Chrome manual update. In fact the link will download a ZIP file that contains an EXE file. The payload is a cryptojacking Monero miner.
A cryptojacker is bad enough since it will drain power and degrade device performance. This one also carries the potential for compromising sensitive information, particularly credentials, and serving as staging for further attacks.
This campaign may be more effective for its routine, innocent look. There are no spectacular threats, no promises of instant wealth, just a notice about a failed update. Users can become desensitized to the potential risks bogus messages concerning IT issues carry with them.
Informed users are your last line of defense against attacks like these. New school security awareness training can can help any organization sustain that line of defense and create a strong security culture.
Trend Micro has the story.