Google Will Ban Windows Chrome Extensions Which Don’t Belong to Web Store
Google will block third-party browser extensions that aren’t hosted in the Chrome Web Store, in order to battle malware.
“We’re announcing a stronger measure to protect Windows users: starting in January on the Windows stable and beta channels, we’ll require all extensions to be hosted in the Chrome Web Store”, states Erik Kay, Engineering Director at Google.
Usually, Chrome will ask for permission before installing extensions on a user’s browser. But scammers have figured out how to silently install extensions without a user knowing.
These extensions can “override browser settings and alter the user experience in undesired ways, such as replacing the New Tab Page without approval,” Google said in a blog post. “In fact, this is a leading cause of complaints from our Windows users.”
Google recommends that developers who have extensions hosted outside the Chrome Web Store migrate them “as soon as possible.” If developers don’t make the change, their users will not be able to install their extensions nor will they be able to keep using extensions that have already been installed.
“Protecting our users is a key priority, and we believe this change will help those whose browser has been compromised by unwanted extensions.”
The news comes shortly after Google said it will add automatic malware blocking to Chrome and the option to reset browser settings.