Chrome extension alleged of stealing money from users
Easy Come, Easy Go
Bitcoin has always been shrouded in controversy. So it’s no surprise that recently another problem was found with the secret money transferring service.
A bitcoin Google Chrome extension to remove ads called, BitcoinWisdom ads remover has been reported to steal bitcoins from users. The story comes from bitstamp, a bitcoin exchange portal which is based in Slovenia.
Be careful! We have uncovered a Chrome extension called BitcoinWisdom Ads Remover that will try to steal your #bitcoin.
— Bitstamp (@Bitstamp) March 11, 2016
The extension advertises itself as an ad remover from the bitcoinwisdom.com, a website which is available for consulting all kinds of bitcoin-related statistics. The statistics are presented in easy-to-understand charts. Bitstamp, however, claims that this ad remover extension contains malicious code that redirects payments from bitcoin users to its bitcoin address, instead of the intended users.
Devon Weller, a Nashville-based bitcoin web app developer, also verified the report claiming that the extension replaced QR codes from the transaction with its own.
@bitstamp Confirmed. I looked at the source code. It replaces QR code images on bitcoin exchanges with its own addresses.
— Devon Weller (@wellerco) March 11, 2016
Bitcoin has been in so much controversy lately as it faced criticism in Russia. The Russian finance ministry recently passed laws that forbade people from using the secretive money transferring service. Jail terms of up to 7 years are promised if someone does break the law. In June of last year, it was also discovered that Coinbase a part of bitcoin exchange was tracking and spying on its users transfer activity so for them to have allegations like these thrown at them again must be something they have gotten used to.
Most bitcoin users mostly make use of the QR codes as one of the methods to make payments or transfer bitcoin from one account to the other. Bitcoin wallet addresses are very long, and they are of random characters which make them difficult to memorize and remember, thus being the reason many people use QR codes. There is an option to take the whole address and to make it a QR code. The QR code can then be scanned by those who have a Bitcoin, who have the app on their mobile phones, and the QR code is used for verification and approving the transfer or the payment.
The BitcoinWisdom ads remover, however, manages to manipulate a web page source code and replaces the QR code of a payments destination with one of its own. The extension is available through the Google Chrome web store, and many users have reported having issues with the same extension.
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