SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has targeted web browser settings hijacking in its latest update to Chrome for Windows.
On the Chromium blog, Google engineering director Erik Kay announced an extension settings API designed to ensure that users have notice and control over any settings changes made to their web browsers.
As a result, the only way extensions will be able to make changes to browser settings such as the default search engine and start page will be through this API.
Bargain hungry consumers are often unaware that freeware programs often bundle add-on programs for which developers receive payment but can create irritating, rather than malicious, changes to user settings.
Although there is usually consent sought at installation, quite often it is ignored or not understood, and the people who miss the warnings are generally the same ones who find it hard to change the settings back.
Kay said that the API is available in the Chromium developer channel, with a rollout to the stable channel set for May.
The Chromium stable channel has been updated to version 33.0.1750.149. The main change is an update to the embedded Flash Player for Windows, which is now version 184.108.40.206.
There are seven new security fixes, most of which were user submitted via the open source Fast Memory Detector Address Sanitizer.
Although the user community and Chrome team continue to proactively protect the Chromium project, third party extensions can still cause problems, with several already having been removed from the Chrome Store this year. µ