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New Chrome malware spies on your Gmail — what to do now

Gmail users on Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge should be aware of new email-reading malware recently identified by Volexity (opens in new tab), which it’s named SHARPEXT.

SHARPEXT is thought to come from a hacking group named SharpTongue (or Kimsuky as it’s called by other security firms), which is backed by North Korea. It’s been active for over a year and has stolen thousands of messages and files from Gmail and AOL email accounts. Currently, SHARPEXT has only been observed in use on Windows devices, though Volexity says it’s possible the malware could work on macOS and Linux systems too.

How SHARPEXT infects victim’s systems

Malware

(Image credit: solarseven/Shutterstock)

Victims are convinced to open a document containing the malware through spear phishing and social engineering scams. The malware has been seen operating in browser extensions for Chrome, Edge and the Korean browser Naver Whale, which are all based on Google’s Chromium platform. It also seems to be aimed at U.S., European and South Korean users, specifically those who work in areas deemed a threat to North Korea, such as nuclear weaponry.

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