If you receive a link for a video, even if it looks exciting, sent by someone (or your friend) on Facebook messenger—just don't click on it without taking a second thought.
Cybersecurity researchers from Trend Micro are warning users of a malicious Chrome extension which is spreading through Facebook Messenger and targeting users of cryptocurrency trading platforms to steal their accounts’ credentials.
Dubbed FacexWorm, the attack technique used by the malicious extension first emerged in August last year, but researchers noticed the malware re-packed a few new malicious capabilities earlier this month.
New capabilities include stealing account credentials from websites, like Google and cryptocurrency sites, redirecting victims to cryptocurrency scams, injecting miners on the web page for mining cryptocurrency, and redirecting victims to the attacker's referral link for cryptocurrency-related referral programs.
It is not the first malware to abuse Facebook Messenger to spread itself like a worm.
Late last year, Trend Micro researchers discovered a Monero-cryptocurrency mining bot, dubbed Digmine, that spreads through Facebook messenger and targets Windows computers, as well as Google Chrome for cryptocurrency mining.
Just like Digmine, FacexWorm also works by sending socially engineered links over Facebook Messenger to the friends of an affected Facebook account to redirect victims to fake versions of popular video streaming websites, like, YouTube.
It should be noted that FacexWorm extension has only been designed to target Chrome users. If the malware detects any other web browser on the victim's computer, it redirects the user to an innocuous-looking advertisement.
How Does the FacexWorm Malware Work
If the malicious video link is opened using Chrome browser, FacexWorm redirects the victim to a fake YouTube page, where the user is encouraged to download a malicious Chrome extension as a codec extension to continue playing the video.
Once installed, FacexWorm Chrome extension downloads more modules from its command and control server to perform various malicious tasks.
Since the extension takes all the extended permissions at the time of installation, the malware can access or modify data for any websites the user opens.