Story image

Google to ban cryptocurrency mining extensions from Chrome

09 Apr 2018

Google’s Chrome Web Store has now banned extensions that facilitate cryptocurrency mining, because script developers haven’t been following the rules.

According to the Chromium blog, during the last few months there has been an increase in malicious Chrome extensions that offer some useful functionality, but they also run cryptomining operations in the background without the user’s consent.

The cryptomining operations affect a system’s CPU usage, system resources, performance, and it can also lead to hire power consumption.

Now Google has moved to reject or remove most cryptomining scripts on the Web Store, and will not accept any more cryptomining extensions.

“Until now, Chrome Web Store policy has 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,” explains Chromium Extensions Platform product manager, James Wagner.

"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,” he continues.

The ban doesn’t include blockchain extensions that do not engage in cryptomining.

“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. This policy is another step forward in ensuring that Chrome users can enjoy the benefits of extensions without exposing themselves to hidden risks.”

Google recently announced it would ban most advertisements relating to  cryptocurrencies and other speculative investments, starting in June.

The restrictions affect advertising for cryptocurrencies, contracts for difference, binary options, financial spread betting, and rolling spot forex.

Those that offer genuine services in those fields must ensure that both their website landing pages and advertisements are in line with relevant legal requirements and Google AdWords policies.

MailChimp, Twitter, and Facebook have all clamped down on cryptocurrency  advertising over the past few months as scams, fraud, and deception run rife.

According to statistics from Check Point, one cybercriminal earned more than $3 million from mining the Monero cryptocurrency.  

Globally, 55% of organisations were targeted by cryptomining attacks in December 2017, Check Point research also found.

Last week Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinnest was dealt a blow as its CEO Kim Ik-hwan was arrested for charges including fraud and embezzlement.

Nuance biometrics fight back against fraud
Nuance Communications has crunched the numbers and discovered that it has prevented more than US$1 billion worth of fraud from being passed on to users of its Nuance Security Suite.
Attacks targeting Cisco Webex extension explode in popularity - WatchGuard
WatchGuard's Internet Security Report for Q4 2018 also finds growing use of a new sextortion phishing malware customised to individual victims.
Developing APAC countries most vulnerable to malware - Microsoft
“As cyberattacks continue to increase in frequency and sophistication, understanding prevalent cyberthreats and how to limit their impact has become an imperative.”
Worldwide spending on security to reach $103.1bil in 2019 - IDC
Managed security services will be the largest technology category in 2019.
Privacy: The real cost of “free” mobile apps
Sales of location targeted advertising, based on location data provided by apps, is set to reach $30 billion by 2020.
Forrester names Crowdstrike leader in incident response
The report provides an in-depth evaluation of the top 15 IR service providers across 11 criteria.
Norwegian aluminium manufacturer hit hard by LockerGoga ransomware attack
“IT systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible.”
Slack doubles down on enterprise key management
EKM adds an extra layer of protection so customers can share conversations, files, and data while still meeting their own risk mitigation requirements.