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Google Chrome Users Beware; Attackers Using Missing Font Update as Social Engineering

by Felix Omondi
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Hackers are using a new trick to get Google Chrome users to install malicious software on your system. The new social engineering trick, tries to convince you that your Chrome browser is missing a vital font needed to view the content of the site.

While social engineering is a popular trick hackers use into duping users into installing malicious software. It is more common with Adobe Flash plug-in, video codecs, and Java. This is probably one of the few times they are trying to fool users in large numbers over the Chrome browser.

Users will be shown the pop-up message ‘The “Hoefler Text” font wasn’t found.’ which then directs you into installing the supposed font. This message only appears when users visit a compromised website. The message wants you to install this supposed font so that you can view the content of the site; the site is already compromised.

The pop-up message wants to fool you into thinking your Chrome browser is out of date and that by installing the font. You will be updating your browser. If you are unlucky enough to get fool and click for the ‘font installer’, you will have unwittingly started the download of a dropper. Experts say they have seen the dropper install the much dreaded Spora ransomware.

Your Anti-malware will probably not protect you, but Chrome will

Most experts say the malware gets right passed most anti-malware software in the market. They are of no use when it comes to this attack. However, the inbuilt defenses on Chrome browser seem to be working than most anti-malware apps out there.

google chrome

Image: Neosmart

When the dropper download begins, you will get a warning from Chrome browser that the file “is not commonly downloaded” and that it “may be dangerous”. If you are the type that heeds warning advice from your security installations on your computer, you should cancel the download immediately. Canceling the download should keep you safe, as the ransomware has to be downloaded in full for it to execute its malicious mandate.

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