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Chrome Users on Windows, Mac Being Targeted by 'Font Wasn't Found' Malware: Report

Chrome Users on Windows, Mac Being Targeted by 'Font Wasn't Found' Malware: Report

Photo Credit: NeoSmart Technologies

  • New malware found affecting Chrome users on Windows and Mac
  • A pop-up on certain sites is cheating users to install malicious software
  • It's not known yet what damage this malware can do

As more and more people get online, malicious activities to hack users personal information is on the rise. A new attack has just come to light that tricks users into installing malicious software, under the disguise of a font pack. It is reportedly affecting Google Chrome users on Windows and Mac both.

The exploit was spotted by NeoSmart Technologies, and it arrives as a pop-up on a few malicious sites. The report claims that this pop-up was seen on an 'unnamed' WordPress site. This pop-up doesn't look fishy, and comes with the original Chrome logo and the same blue colour palette that the browser uses. The text on the site doesn't render, allegedly due to the use of JavaScript to mis-encode text with symbols, and the box informs you that the "font wasn't found" (in this case, HoeflerText), and prompts you to download and install the fake Chrome Font Pack, called 'Chrome Font v7.5.1.exe', right away.

What is even worse is that neither Windows Defender nor Chrome recognises this software as malicious and allow users to download it - the report notes, adding that while it's not in Chrome's Safe Browsing blacklist, the company has been informed about it. Furthermore, the report claims that only nine out of the 59 antivirus scanners in its database correctly identified the file as malware. It is not yet known what damage this malware can do, but we would advise caution before downloading any unknown software.

While the pop-up message is made with much finesse, and doesn't easily give away hints of being fake, we recommend extra caution while downloading software through any such pop-ups on less legitimate sites online. Furthermore, ensure that you have good malware protection on your PC for secure browsing.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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