GOOGLE HAS confirmed it is going to clamp down on Chrome extensions with secret cryptocurrency mining code hidden within.
As the price of Bitcoin et al continues to rise, less scrupulous developers have been creating add-ons for the operating system and browser which use spare capacity in a user's computer to mine for coins.
But Google is ready to clamp down, and starting immediately it will block all new extensions found to have such code.
Then, from July, it will actively remove any existing extensions already in the store.
The sad thing is that this blanket ban, though necessary, will mean that anyone with genuine reasons to run a crypto-miner or other blockchain based scheme - like actually telling the user in advance that, say, it's part of a grid-computing science experiment or simply their way of funding an ad-free experience - will find it more difficult too, because some people want to screw you for about 0.008p.
Chrome will continue to allow non-mining Blockchain, but as far as we can tell, it's going to be quite a tough one to police.
Thing is, the bad ones slip through, and the only solution is to target good and bad. Its estimated that 90 per cent of affected extensions violates the allowable rule.
The extensions platform provides powerful capabilities that have enabled our developer community to build a vibrant catalogue of extensions that help users get the most out of Chrome. Unfortunately, these same capabilities have attracted malicious software developers who attempt to abuse the platform at the expense of users.
James Wagner, Google's extensions platform product manager, said: "This policy is another step forward in ensuring that Chrome users can enjoy the benefits of extensions without exposing themselves to hidden risks"
The blog post also shows the potential damage of running such scripts - illustrating an example of CPU usage leaping from 20 per cent to 100 per cent with performance impact and no benefit to the end user. µ
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