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Firefox/IE plugin spying on users

27 May 2011

A scandal ignited on the web today as it turned out that Ant Video Downloader and Player, a Firefox and Internet Explorer plugin for downloading videos, spied on its users.

The plugin does its job really well — until today, it had a 5 out of 5 rating and the number of daily installations reached 7000. Its spy part was also developed by professionals: URL’s of visited sites and other personal information (associated with a unique user identifier) are sent to an unknown address even in privacy mode or when using data encryption mechanisms like Tor.

With a database of 11 million users and their visited pages, hackers can easily identify people and make their life a lot harder — just with this information at hand. It’s not yet known exactly what information was stolen and how it will be used.

Such activity of the plugin was detected by security experts on May 10th, but the plugin is still available for installation in Firefox and Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, there is no efficient way of blocking such spyware and its activities at the moment.

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