Google Chrome is no longer getting any new cryptocurrency extensions, and all existing ones are to be kicked off the Chrome store soon enough.
Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency have been rapidly gaining ground, creating a whole frenzy worldwide. While some make significant investments for powerful GPU rigs that would allow them to mine cryptocurrency, others attempt to make money at the expense of others.
With cryptocurrency on the rise, it seems that scammers have found a new and highly lucrative way of tricking people: exploiting the GPU and CPU power of various systems belonging to unsuspecting users. The Google Chrome store initially allowed various extensions for cryptocurrency mining, provided that users were fully aware of what they were doing.
To that extent, Google required highly visible and clear warnings to alert the user that a cryptocurrency mining script would exploit a great deal of a PC's processing power.
No More Chrome Cryptocurrency Mining Extensions
According to Google, as much as 90 percent of all cryptocurrency mining extensions developers tried to submit to the Chrome store failed to meet Google's requirements of offering solid warnings to users. Consequently, such extensions either didn't make the cut, or they did and faced removal afterward.
Google says that the number of malicious extensions has increased in the past few months. Such extensions seem to contain useful functionality, but in fact, they hide mining scripts designed to run in the background, taking up CPU resources without the user agreeing to it or even being aware of it.
Since they take up a lot of a PC's processing power, such cryptocurrency mining scripts can take a heavy toll on the system's power consumption and overall performance. Google notes that scammers have been abusing such mining extensions to the detriment of unsuspecting users, so it has decided to take action.
Chrome Web Store Extensions: What Stays And What Goes
Starting today, no extensions designed to mine cryptocurrency will be able to get into the Chrome Web Store. Cryptocurrency mining extensions that are already in the store, meanwhile, will get the boot in late June.
However, Google will continue to allow extensions designed with other blockchain-tied features, except for cryptocurrency mining. Google's latest move aims to ensure that users are protected against scammers and can install various extensions safely, without facing hidden threats.
"As the extensions ecosystem continues to evolve, we remain focused on empowering developers to build innovative experiences while keeping our users as safe as possible," says Google.