After Facebook and Twitter, Google has cracked down on malicious cryptocurrency mining extensions on its Chrome platform. Until now, Google Chrome’s web policy permitted cryptocurrency mining in extensions as long as it is the extension’s single purpose and the user is adequately informed about the mining behaviour.
“Unfortunately, approximately 90% of all extensions with mining scripts that developers have attempted to upload to Chrome Web Store have failed to comply with these policies, and have been either rejected or removed from the store,” James Wagner, Extensions Platform Product Manager, said in a blog post late Monday.
“Starting today, Chrome Web Store will no longer accept extensions that mine cryptocurrency,” he added.
Existing extensions that mine cryptocurrency will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store in late June. Extensions with blockchain-related purposes other than mining will continue to be permitted in the Web Store, Google said.
Over the past few months, there has been a rise in malicious extensions that appear to provide useful functionality on the surface, while embedding hidden cryptocurrency mining scripts that run in the background without the user’s consent. These mining scripts often consume significant CPU resources, and can severely impact system performance and power consumption.
“This policy is another step forward in ensuring that Chrome users can enjoy the benefits of extensions without exposing themselves to hidden risks,” Wagner said.
Late last month, Twitter confirmed to block cryptocurrency-related ads on the platform. In January, social media giant Facebook banned all ads promoting cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and ICOs.