MyWorldClock Browser Extension
MyWorldClock, initially presented as a browser extension offering convenient access to clocks based on user-selected time zones, has been identified as a rogue application following an in-depth examination by cybersecurity researchers. Rather than fulfilling its promised functionality, this extension is primarily interested in operating as a browser hijacker. Its primary modus operandi involves the unauthorized alteration of browser settings to redirect users to the fraudulent search engine, goog.myworlclock.com, forcefully.
The deceptive nature of MyWorldClock extends beyond misleading redirects, as it is highly probable that the extension engages in the collection of private browsing data from users. This unauthorized data gathering raises serious privacy concerns, as users' sensitive information may be at risk.
Browser Hijackers Like MyWorldClock could Collect Data Stealthily
MyWorldClock, in its manipulation of browser settings, orchestrates redirects to goog.myworlclock.com whenever users input searches into the URL bar or open a new tab. It's noteworthy that fake search engines, like the mentioned goog.myworlclock.com, typically lack the capability to provide authentic search results. Consequently, they redirect users to legitimate internet search engines, with the observed redirect chain concluding at the Bing search engine. It's crucial to acknowledge that the ultimate landing page may vary, influenced by factors such as user geolocation.
It's imperative for users to recognize that browser hijackers often employ persistence mechanisms. These mechanisms are designed to obstruct access to removal-related settings or reverse user-initiated changes, aiming to impede the restoration of the browser to its original state.
Beyond its role as a browser hijacker, MyWorldClock raises further concerns as it is highly probable to possess data-tracking functionalities. The information at risk of being collected includes a broad spectrum: visited URLs, viewed pages, search queries, internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, financial data, and more. Subsequently, this collected information may be shared with or sold to third parties, amplifying the potential risks associated with the use of MyWorldClock. Given these multifaceted threats, users are strongly advised to exercise caution and consider removing this extension promptly to mitigate potential security and privacy risks.
Always be Careful When Installing Applications from New Sources
Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and browser hijackers often employ various dubious techniques for their distribution, taking advantage of unsuspecting users. Here are some common strategies they use:
- Bundled Software Installers: PUPs and browser hijackers are frequently bundled with legitimate software installers. Users may inadvertently download and install these unwanted programs when installing a seemingly unrelated application. The bundled software often comes with pre-selected checkboxes that users might overlook during the installation process.
- Deceptive Advertising: Dubious advertisements or misleading pop-ups on websites may prompt users to click on them, leading to the unintentional download and installation of PUPs or browser hijackers. These advertisements might claim to offer useful software or updates but, in reality, deliver unwanted programs.
- Fake Updates and Downloads: Users may be tricked into downloading PUPs or browser hijackers through fake software update notifications. These deceptive alerts may mimic legitimate update prompts for popular applications, leading users to download and install unwanted programs instead.
- Freeware and Shareware Platforms: PUPs often find their way onto freeware and shareware platforms. Users who download software from these sources may unknowingly acquire additional unwanted programs bundled with the intended software.
- Social Engineering Tactics: PUPs and browser hijackers may use social engineering techniques to deceive users. This can include fake alerts claiming that the user's system is infected and urging them to download a supposed antivirus program, which is, in fact, a PUP.
- Browser Extensions and Add-ons: Browser hijackers often disguise themselves as seemingly legitimate browser extensions or add-ons. Users may be enticed to install these extensions, thinking they provide useful features, only to discover later that their browser settings have been altered.
- Email Attachments and Links: PUPs may be distributed through fraudulent email attachments or links. Users who open these attachments or click on links may unknowingly download and install unwanted programs on their devices.
To protect against PUPs and browser hijackers, users should be cautious when downloading software, especially from unfamiliar sources. It's crucial to read installation prompts carefully, avoid clicking on suspicious ads, and keep security software updated to detect and block potentially unwanted programs. Regularly reviewing installed applications and browser extensions also can help identify and remove unwanted software.