Cryptocurrency may one day revolutionize finance, but until then, the new tech is still facing a number of growing pains. Mostly notably, “crytpojacking” by apps and even ads that maliciously mine currency without a user’s awareness. To protect devices, Google is now implementing a new Web Store policy that bans mining extensions.
Until today, the Chrome Web Store has permitted extensions that solely mine currency and “adequately inform” users about it. However, Google has found that approximately 90% of submitted extensions with mining scripts do not follow these disclosure policies, causing either store rejection or removal.
Google notes that over the past few months there has been a rise in malicious extensions that pretend to provide useful functionality, but in reality contain mining scripts that run in the background without a user’s consent. Victims often encounter a “severe” impact to system performance and power consumption.
As a result of these bad actors, Google is no longer accepting extensions that mine cryptocurrency of any sort. This starts today, while existing mining ones will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store in July.
Developers of blockchain related extensions that do not mine will still be permitted, with Google noting that today’s policies are “another step forward in ensuring that Chrome users can enjoy the benefits of extensions without exposing themselves to hidden risks.”