Citing cryptojacking concerns, Google announced that it would remove all cryptomining extensions from the Chrome Store. The tech giant wants to protect users from illegal cryptocurrency mining operations via their web browsers.
On Monday, Google unveiled that it will start blocking the extensions that mine cryptocurrencies before they reach the Web Store. This summer, the company will remove the remaining cryptomining extensions.
- Google is mostly concerned about cryptojacking, an illegal practice that consumes the unsuspecting users’ processing power to mine virtual coins.
- Users’ hardware can be damaged irreversibly in the process.
Hackers usually hijack users’ processing resources through malicious software. They can also give themselves access to the victims’ devices when the victims are visiting certain websites if the malware is already installed on their devices. Miners can also hide themselves in legit apps and tools. Even government computers have been targeted by cryptojackers.
Chrome Users’ Devices Being Cryptojacked via the Browser
Over the few months, ad blockers and anti-virus solutions have added mining scripts to their blacklists. Since last fall, Chrome developers have expressed concerns about cryptojacking efforts via users’ web browsers.
Until recently, Google has refused to remove mining extensions from the Web Store as long as they informed users on their functions. Around 90% of those extensions failed to comply with Google’s terms and were removed before reaching the Chrome Store.
Some extensions got past Google’s vigilance and hackers were able to cryptojack hundreds of thousands of users without their consent.
The head of Google’s extensions platform, James Wagner, explained that the extensions containing cryptomining scripts will be permanently banned since nearly all mining extensions were found to be malicious. However, a simple ban will not be able to fix the problem as many miners have found ways to hide cryptomining scripts in their extensions and get Google’s approval.
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