This Week In Security: Perl.com, The Great Suspender, And Google’s Solution


Perl has been stolen. Well, perl.com, at least. The perl.com domain was transferred to a different registrar on January 27, without the permission of the rightful owner. The first to notice the hack seems to have been [xtaran], who raised the alarm on a Reddit thread. The proper people quickly noticed, and started the process of getting control of the domain again. It seems that several other unrelated domains were also stolen in the same attack.

I’ve seen a couple of theories tossed around about how the domains were stolen. With multiple domains being moved, it initially seemed that the registrar had been compromised in some way. One of the other victims was told that a set of official looking documents had been supplied, “proving” that the attacker was the rightful owner of the domain. In any case, the damage is slowly being unwound. Perl.com is once again in the proper hands, evidenced by the proper SSL certificate issued back in December.

The Great Suspender, Suspended

I was greeted by a particularly nasty surprise on Thursday of this week. One of the Chrome extensions I’ve come to rely on was removed by Google for containing malware. The Great Suspender automatically hibernates unused tabs, saving ram and processor cycles that would otherwise be spent on those 150 open tabs that should really be bookmarks. What happened here?

I’ll point out that I’m extremely careful about installing extensions. It’s code written by a third party, often very difficult to inspect, and can view and modify the sites you visit. You can manage what sites an extension has access to, but for a tool like the Suspender, it essentially needs access to all of them. The solution is to use open source extensions, right? “Well yes, but actually no.” Suspender is open source, after all. The link above goes to the project’s Github page. In that repo you’ll find an announcement from last year, that the founding developer is finished with the project, and is selling the rights to an unknown third party, who took over maintainership. If this sounds familiar, there are echoes of the event-stream debacle.

It’s not clear exactly what malicious behavior Google found that led to the…

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