Malicious browser extensions are considered a quite frequent problem among users worldwide. To deal with the issue, Google has announced that, starting this July, Chrome extensions outside the Web Store will no longer be accessible for both Windows and Mac users. The giant’s updated security policy may seem exaggerated to some people, but it is clearly a timely precaution against malicious software.
Google’s Decision Explained
Google decided to change their policy after the drastic drop of about 75% in customer support help requests for removing suspicious browser extensions. Even though the number represents a positive impact, the fact that Chrome is currently used by billions of people around the world slightly changes it. Furthermore, malware creators were still able to deliver vile components by tricking users to switch to the developer channel of their browsers. The act results in users who are left with harmful extensions running on a Chrome channel they did not accept.
In addition, Google claims that both developers and enterprises will not be affected by the modification.
Windows Protection Already Initiated
Windows users are soon to be fully protected by the new policy. However, iOS followers will have to wait until the beginning of July. Also, both operational systems’ users should note that support for local extension installations has not been restricted by the giant. The reason is developers need the feature to enhance their products and develop new ones.
Malicious Extensions’ Risk Finally Evaluated
Google is among the first companies to take the matter to heart. Research made between June 1 and September 30, 2014 and released last week, shows that more than 84,000 packages were employed to inject advertisements into websites. 30% of the ads were associated with malicious activities, and more than 50,000 of the packages were classified as Chrome extensions.
Google admits that malicious browser extensions targeted at Chrome are by far the biggest issue their security team deals with on a daily basis. An enormous amount of Chrome users is infected by malicious ads and similar cyber threats, as confirmed by Peter Kasting, a software engineer at Google.