A browser hijacker called “ChromeLoader” has had a large uptick in detections this month, which is raising eyebrows among security professionals.
ChromeLoader can modify a victim’s web browser settings to show search results that promote unwanted (and usually spammy) software, annoying pop-up ads, fake giveaways, adult games, dating sites, surveys, and the like.
As malware goes, there are far worse strains out there. Rather than infect you with malicious code that locks all your files or installs other destructive forms of malware, this one will see you flooded with scammy or spammy offers. It will frustrate you by forcing you to click through a sea of ads you’d rather not see, all in a bid to make a bit of coin for the malware’s owners.
It is noteworthy mostly because of its persistence and its aggressive use of Powershell, which it abuses like few other malware strains do. Even worse, the owners of the malicious code have recently released a variant that specifically targets macOS users, so if you thought you were safe because you were using a Mac, think again.
While we wish that all malware strains were as relatively harmless as this one, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat or that you shouldn’t take it seriously. While it’s not as destructive as most of the malware strains that make the headlines, it’s still a genuine concern that can cause you innumerable headaches.
If you start to see an unusual number of popup ads or if your computer has a scary preference for porn and gaming sites, odds are good that you’ve been infected. It may appear like your computer has a life of its own. If you see those things, the problem won’t go away on its own and you should get your machine to a system management expert as soon as possible.