Botnet in the Browser: Understanding Threats Caused by Malicious Browser Extensions

Raffaello Perrotta, Feng Hao
<span title="">2018</span> <i title="Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">IEEE Security and Privacy</a> </i> &nbsp;
Browser extensions have been established as a common feature present in modern browsers. However, some extension systems risk exposing APIs which are too permissive and cohesive with the browser's internal structure, thus leaving a hole for malicious developers to exploit security critical functionality within the browser itself. In this paper, we raise the awareness of the threats caused by browser extensions by presenting a botnet framework based on malicious extensions installed in the
more &raquo; ... browser, and an exhaustive range of attacks that can be launched in this framework. We systematically categorize, describe and implement these attacks against Chrome, Firefox and Firefox-for-Android, and verify experiments on Windows, Linux and Android systems. To the best of our knowledge, this paper presents to date the most comprehensive analysis about the threats of botnet in modern browsers due to the over-privileged capabilities possessed by browser extensions. We also discuss countermeasures to the identified problems. Index Terms-Web Browser, Scripting Languages. ! BACKGROUND Modern browser extension systems are based around the JSE (JavaScript Engine) model [10], in which the browser extension is a small set of scripts, generally JavaScript,
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.1109/msp.2018.3111249</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:6umux6h3wzal3cr26wo7443h4u</a> </span>
<a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" title="fulltext PDF download" data-goatcounter-click="serp-fulltext" data-goatcounter-title="serp-fulltext"> <button class="ui simple right pointing dropdown compact black labeled icon button serp-button"> <i class="icon ia-icon"></i> Web Archive [PDF] <div class="menu fulltext-thumbnail"> <img src="" alt="fulltext thumbnail" loading="lazy"> </div> </button> </a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href=""> <button class="ui left aligned compact blue labeled icon button serp-button"> <i class="external alternate icon"></i> </button> </a>