Posted on September 5, 2018 at 1:18 PM
Recent faults in the Google Chrome browser may have exposed a lot of homes in Britain to internet hacking. This is made known by researchers at SureCloud even as Google responds that URLs may have to be canceled to guarantee safety.
The US-based tech giant suffers a fault in its source code and that may have made its browser susceptible to hacking. Experts say that the browser’s fault has exposed many Wi-Fi connections to risks. In less than a minute, SureCloud experts claim that hackers can infiltrate users’ Wi-Fi connections.
According to Elliot Thompson who is one of SureCloud’s researchers, at least 3 million UK households may have been affected. He believes that these figures are even conservative as many more may have suffered cyberattacks.
While urging everyone to be on the alert, Thompson puts the figure of potential victims worldwide at 30 million.
As a result of the web browser’s weakness, Thompson says that hackers can use users’ Wi-Fi connection to steal their passwords. Apart from that, he says hackers can steal users’ data and then deposit spyware and malware into their computers.
When this is done, genuine users are no longer in control of their networks and computers. Hackers would now be able to see and do everything that the user is doing on their PCs.
As such, if a user subscribes to a service (e.g. internet banking) on a website not encrypted, details of the user can easily be stolen and reused.
When To Suspect An Attack
SureCloud researchers alert users to a potential attack when they see a pop-up prompting resembling their admin menu. That is, a prompting would pop up on the screen masquerading the user’s administrator’s Wi-Fi routers.
When SureCloud approached Google earlier in March, the US tech giant was said to have insisted that the browser was working well. It even said that it was not planning an update soon.
Several Wi-Fi routers can play host to the attack says SureCloud. Some of these include NETGEAR, Belkin, ASUS, and even D-link. However, despite their claims, Google says it has not recorded any formal complaint of hacking to date.
SureCloud insists that a lack of complaints may not mean that hacking has not taken place. It stressed that due to the nature of the routers, users may have been hacked unawares.
For A Safer Web, URLs May Have To Go – Google
Google has opined that the internet community would be safer if websites no longer have internet addresses. It is still unclear how possible this may be but the tech giant says it is the only viable way out of internet hacking.
Google itself exists on profiling and ranking sites based on their addresses and ease of finding. But then, the company may get more credibility and endorsement if it can ensure a URL-less website.
URLs are usually long and confusing and hackers have built on this to perpetuate their nefarious activities. McAfee antivirus recently reported that not less than $600 billion was lost globally last year to cyber attacks alone.
To this effect, Chrome’s manager of Engineering Adrienne Porter says:
So we want to move toward a place where web identity is understandable by everyone – they know who they are talking to when they are using a website and they can reason about whether they can trust them. But this will mean big changes in how and when Chrome displays URLs.
Currently, Google claims that it does not know how a website without URL would look like but it is still studying it. The initial effort made in 2014 by Google was not successful as the address was still displayed. As such, Chrome’s engineers may still have a lot to do in arriving at a URL-less website.