Following a recent policy update to their Financial Services policy that banned cryptocurrency related campaigns and terms from the company’s AdWords platform, tech-giant Google will also ban web-browser extensions geared torward cryptocurrency mining from their Google Chrome store.
Starting in July, Google will begin removing Google Chrome browser extensions that enable cryptocurrency mining, however, other blockchain or crypto-related browser extensions will remain available. Previously, Google allowed crypto mining extensions that notified users of their intended purpose, but the requirement did not prevent extensions from offering add-ons that do not comply with Google’s policies.
Google’s Extensions Platform Product Manager James Wagner sheds some light on why Google suddenly decided to change its policy despite allowing mining for some time, explaining “we chose to defer banning extensions with cryptomining scripts until it became clear that the vast majority of mining extensions submitted for review failed to comply with our single purpose policy or were malicious.”
Posted Monday by Wagner he continued on to say:
“Starting today, Chrome Web Store will no longer accept extensions that mine cryptocurrency. Existing extensions that mine cryptocurrency will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store in late June. Extensions with blockchain-related purposes other than mining will continue to be permitted in the Web Store.”
Google says as much as 90% of the extensions submitted for approval were not in compliance and were either blocked, or made its way through the approval process only to later be removed. With this new policy update, the amount of extensions that offer crypto mining will be reduced, however, as has been seen with recent cryptojacking schemes, crypto mining can be hidden away and the program’s strain on resources altered to fly under the radar.
Cryptojacking has become a prominent issue where hackers install malware on vulnerable computers, and computer resources are utilized to mine for cryptocurrencies that are then sent to the hacker’s wallet. Oftentimes, the hackers have modified the code in such a way that allows the malicious code to run undetected. Major corporations including Tesla have been affected in recent months.