Search engine giant Google has revealed that it is banning all cryptocurrency mining extensions from its Chrome Web store, in an attempt to stop apps that trick users into mining cryptocurrencies (called “crypto-jacking”). Until now, the store permitted mining extensions that took informed consent of users before using their computing power.
All Chrome mining extensions will be delisted by July this year. The action comes two weeks after Google announced it would ban all cryptocurrency related advertisements.
Google: 90% of Mining Scripts Fail to Comply With Chrome Store Policies
Google said it will not allow any new extensions that mine cryptocurrencies — at all — on its web store. Moreover, all the existing extensions that exist only to mine digital currencies, even with the consent of users, will also get the boot by July.
Using browser scripts isn’t the most efficient method to mine cryptocurrencies unless one manages to use the computing power of thousands of computers. If you can round up those thousands, though, it can be profitable.
Google’s blog post stated that many extensions on the Chrome Web Store do no comply with its official policies.
In the blog post, James Wagner, Google’s Extension Platform product manager, stated: “Unfortunately, approximately 90 percent of all extensions with mining scripts that developers have attempted to upload to Chrome Web Store failed to comply with these policies, and have been either rejected or removed from the store.”
Scammers’ Point of Entry Closed
Several scammers have attempted to reap rewards by mining cryptocurrencies (often Monero) using the distributed processing power (and electricity) of extension users. Some organizations have used mining extensions more openly, offering them to site users as an alternative to paid subscriptions. If used properly, it could still be an innovative way to finance online content.
Unfortunately, minor lapses in the Chrome Web Store security have allowed many fraudsters to mine digital currencies from users without their knowledge. Wagner stated, “The key to maintaining a healthy extensions ecosystem is to keep the platform open and flexible. This empowers our developers to build creative and innovative customizations for Chrome browser users.”
Recently, ICOs and cryptocurrency advertisements have been banned on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat. Lately, MailChimp also banned crypto related ads to prevent its users from scams and frauds.
Google, in a process to update its financial services-related ad policies, also announced it would ban cryptocurrency associated advertisements that include ICOs.
Will scammers find new ways to illicitly use computing powers of users? Let us know your views in the comments section.
Images via Google