Google is banning all Chrome extensions which mine for crypto-currencies to help prevent crypto-jacking.
(CCM) — Google has decided to call time on Chrome extensions which carry out mining for crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, the company announced on the Chromium Blog. From today it will no longer accept such extensions in the Chrome Web store, and existing extensions will be delisted from it in late June 2018.
Previously a mining extension was allowed on the proviso that that was the extension's single purpose and that the user was adequately informed about what the extension was doing. But recently 90% of all extensions with mining scripts which were submitted to the Chrome Web store did not comply with these policies and had to be rejected or removed from the store, according to James Wagner, Google's extensions platform product manager.
The root of the problem with mining extensions is that they can sometimes be used for "crypto-jacking." That is when a malicious extension promises to carry out some useful feature while embedding a hidden mining script which runs in the background without the user's knowledge. This then attempts to generate crypto-currency for the extension's author, not the owner of the computer carrying out the mining.
Crypto-jacking often results in dramatically increased power consumption, and it can also have a significant negative impact on the performance of the user's computer.
But some developers argue that embedding a mining script with the user's consent is a convenient way to monetize useful functionality that is given away in a free extension or application without bothering users with advertisements.
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