Until now, the Google Chrome Web Store policy allowed Chrome extensions that feature crypto mining codes as long as it complies with Google two major rules: the extension’s single purpose is to mine crypto, and the user is adequately notified about the purpose of the extension. This is coming after Facebook and Twitter have also cracked down on malicious cryptocurrency mining ads on their platform.
“Approximately 90 percent of all extensions that features crypto mining scripts submitted on the Chrome Store violates the Google policies, that is, users are not properly informed of what they are doing. And have been either rejected or removed from the store” the Extensions Platform Product Manager, James Wagner, said in a blog post.
As from Monday, which was yesterday, Chrome Web Store has stopped accepting extensions that feature crypto mining codes, even the ones that comply with the store rules. The existing extensions that are currently available on the Web Store will be removed by late June.
Recently, there has been a rise in malicious coders, who use users’ PC as a crypto coin miner through crypto mining codes embedded in Chrome extensions that appear to have useful functionality. These have significantly affected system performance, power consumption and spikes in CPU performance.
“This move is in line with the Google policy to ensure that Chrome users enjoy the benefits of extensions without exposing themselves to undue risks,” Wagner said
Google released a chart which shows the total CPU load before and after an extension starts, this is to give a user an idea of how powerful a crypto mining process can be:
Earlier this year, Facebook banned every ad that promotes cryptocurrencies, even Bitcoin and ICOs on its platform. Twitter followed suit in March by also blocking cryptocurrency related ads. As at January, Opera started blocking crypto mining extensions which left miners to turn to other crypto-extensions to unblock them.