On Monday, the Extensions Platform Product Manager of Google, James Wagner, posted an article called Protecting Users from Extension Cryptojacking on the Chromium Blog. In the post, Wagner stated that “extensions for mining cryptocurrency” will no longer be allowed into the Chrome Web Store. Any “extensions that mine cryptocurrency” still available in the store will be taken off the list as of June 2018. Wagner will allow “extensions with blockchain-related purposes other than mining” in the Chrome Web Store.
What Is Cryptojacking?
As cryptocurrency gains more popularity with the general public, those that wish to use it to gain from it only for themselves are trying to stay one step ahead of everyone else. Cryptojacking has become their latest solution to this. Cryptojacking involves using mining extentions to hide cryptocurrency mining scripts that run in the background without the user being aware of its existence.
Cryptojacking has only been around for a few months, but it has been causing quite a stir in the world of cryptocurrency. Crypto way of hacking is creeping up everywhere, from Salon to Pirate Bay, and even some of Elon Musk’s projects have are being hacked with it. Those involved with cryptojacking aren’t even bothering to hide it since the profits gained are very minimal.
Chrome Web Store
The Chrome Web Store used to have a policy where cryptocurrency mining extensions were allowed as long as it was the only purpose of the extension. The user was ideally given the information about the purpose of the extension. Now it has come out that 90 percent of these extensions available in the Chrome Web Store have not been following user policy and have been removed from the store or not allowed in the first place. That is a huge amount of users who are ignoring policies, hence this new policy from Chrome.
The Power Of Google
Google is trying to put a stop to cryptojacking, since so many users are speaking out against it. For starters, Google is limiting how much advertising cryptocurrencies and similar subject matter, such as cryptocurrency exchanges, coin offerings, cryptocurrency trading advice, and cryptocurrency wallets can do on the search engine. Google wants their users to be able to benefit from the many uses Chrome has to offer, without wondering if harmful software developers are taking advantage of them.
Hopefully, this doesn’t scare cryptocurrency users to the point where they don’t use extensions. These extensions come with benefits for cryptocurrency users. If all goes well, this new policy will keep out the hackers for good. In his article, Wagner wants cryptocurrency users to remember that 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”.
These words should not fall on deaf ears, for both cryptocurrency users and hackers. Hackers need to think twice before wasting their time on these extensions for cryptojacking. Wagner wants Chrome users to “enjoy the benefits of extensions without exposing themselves to hidden risks”.