Why storing passwords in web browsers is a tempting but bad idea

A case of RedLine data theft malware targeting popular web browsers such as Chrome, Edge and Opera shows why keeping passwords in web browsers is a bad idea.

RedLine is a Trojan that steals cookies, usernames and passwords, payment card data stored in web browsers, as well as FTP credentials and files from an infected device. In addition to data theft, RedLine can execute commands, download and run other malware, and take screenshots of the active Windows screen. Malware can be obtained on hacker forums for about $ 200 and its application does not require much knowledge and effort.

The password management feature is enabled by default in Chrome-based web browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. Web browsers store accounts and usernames and passwords entered when logging in to websites.

However, while the auto-login feature in web browsers is very tempting for users, AhnLab ASEC report warns that it is becoming a significant security issue that affects both companies and users.

In an example cited by AhnLab analysts, an employee of a home-based company who used a browser password manager, RedLine Stealer stole business VPN credentials and cybercriminals used the data to hack the company’s network three months later. which the victim worked on. Although the infected computer had antivirus software installed, it was unable to detect and remove the malware.

Malware targets a “Login data” file that stores usernames and passwords in all Chromium-based web browsers.

Even when users refuse to save their credentials in a web browser, the password management system will still add an entry indicating that a particular website is “blacklisted”. Although the attackers in this case do not have a password for this account from the “black list”, this tells them that the account exists, which means that they can try to attack the account.

The credentials collected by RedLine are either used by cybercriminals in attacks or they try to sell them on dark web sites. How popular RedLine is among hackers is shown by the rise of the dark web market “2easy”, where half of all sold data was stolen using this malware.

Using a web browser to store login passwords is risky even without a malware infection. Someone who has access to the device could steal passwords in minutes.

Therefore, it is best to use a dedicated password manager that stores all data in an encrypted vault and requires a master password to unlock it.

Multi-factor authentication should be enabled wherever this option is available, as this additional step can save you from downloading your account even if your account login information has been compromised.

Source: Informacija.rs by www.informacija.rs.

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