Google’s New Policy Bans Unofficial Chrome Extensions
Next time you might not find your favourite extension on Chrome unless it is available on the official Chrome Web Store. Yes, in a bid to protect its users from malicious add-ons, Google will force them to use only those hosted on the Chrome Web Store.
This policy was first announced in November 2013 and was supposed to go live in January 2014. The plan finally went into effect on May 2014 but was left open to people using the developer version of Chrome, to install their choice of extensions. Google said that this action led hackers tricking users into using the malicious malware.
Extensions manager, Jake Leichtling says:
Affected users are left with malicious extensions running on a Chrome channel they did not choose.
The FAQ page gives more details:
- Users can only install extensions hosted in the Chrome Web store, except for installs via enterprise policy or developer mode.
- Extensions that were previously installed, but not hosted on the Chrome Web Store will be hard-disabled (i.e., the user cannot enable these extensions again), except for installs via enterprise policy or developer mode.
Further, Google said the extensions that are not on the Chrome Web Store and are already installed on Chrome will automatically be disabled and cannot be re-enabled or reinstalled. Unless, of course, Chrome Web Store includes that particular extension to its store.
Google’s new policy may finally help in lowering malicious extensions on Chrome, however, limiting the user’s choices of add-ons.