Google Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Chrome Extensions

A couple of day ago, Google announced that it will ban cryptocurrency mining extensions from the official Chrome Web Store.

After finding that the crypto-mining extensions abuse users’ resources without their consent, the company decided to ban all the malicious extensions from the official Chrome Web Store.

In most cases, the scripts created for mining purposes require significant CPU power to perform their activity and this could lead to severely diminished system performance or in increased power consumption.

This type of mining behavior is called in-browser cryptojacking, and it is employed by many websites, usually with heavy impact on user experience.

“Over the past few months, there has been a rise in malicious extensions that appear to provide useful functionality on the surface, while embedding hidden cryptocurrency mining scripts that run in the background without the user’s consent,” the Extensions Platform Product Manager, James Wagner, explains.

To keep its users as safe as possible, Google announced that it will no longer accept cryptocurrency mining extensions in the Chrome Web Store. Besides, the company plans to remove all such extensions from its official store until the end of June, 2018.

The extensions with blockchain-related purposes which do not mine cryptocurrency will continue to be distributed through the Web Store.

Some time ago, Google allowed developers to submit for publication extensions designed for crypto-currency mining as long as the application was built for mining only and users were fully informed on this behavior.

Unfortunately, the problem with the cryptocurrency mining extensions was that a great part of them (90%) featured mining scripts which were submitted for upload to the Chrome Web Store. Because of their content, the extensions did not comply with the company’s policies and were rejected or removed from the official store.

“The extensions platform provides powerful capabilities that have enabled our developer community to build a vibrant catalog of extensions that help users get the most out of Chrome. Unfortunately, these same capabilities have attracted malicious software developers who attempt to abuse the platform at the expense of users,” James Wagner states.

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