'Properties' Chrome Browser Hijacker
Chrome users may notice the sudden appearance of an extension named 'Properties' as part of their browser. Infosec researchers have classified this extension as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) that is being distributed via misleading methods, such as software bundles or fake installers. The 'bundling' technique involves packaging one or more additional applications that will be added under the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' menus as preselected choices. This leaves users thinking that they are only installing the main application, which is typically the legitimate and desirable one. It should be noted that the 'Properties' Chrome browser hijacker has been observed on both Mac and Windows systems.
The vast majority of browser hijackers are tasked with the promotion of a dubious sponsored page and the generation of artificial traffic towards it. Typically, this is achieved by assuming control of the user's browser and modifying several important settings, mainly the homepage, new tab page and the default search engine. Afterward, redirects to the sponsored page will occur every time the affected browser is launched, a new tab is opened, or the user initiates a search query via the URL bar.
Some invasive PUPs also collect data from the systems they are installed on. The gathered information could consist of the user's browsing activities (search history, browsing history and clicked URLs) and device details (geolocation, IP address, browser type, device type, etc.). However, some PUPs also may try to access sensitive information saved into the browser's autofill data. In these cases, users may risk having their account credentials, banking details, and even credit/debit card numbers compromised.