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Google has announced in a blog post on Monday April 2nd that they are pulling cryptocurrency mining extensions from the Chrome Web Store. The U.S. tech giant made their decision to ban cryptocurrency mining browser extensions after 90% failed to comply with Google’s rules and policies. One in ten extensions involved in mining were meeting Google’s policies on disclosure, according to Google’s platform product manager.

Crackdown on malicious Mining extensions

Google will start removing existing browser extensions in July that facilitate mining. Other blockchain-related extensions will still be allowed. Extensions platform product manager, James Wagner said that the decision was made in response to analysis of malicious “cryptojacking” software in extensions.

The term cryptojacking is when software mine cryptocurrency without the user’s consent. Many extensions proved controversial in the recent months, because they were harnessing the processing power of unsuspecting internet users, slowing down their user devices. Wagner also 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,”

Google had previously allowed Chrome mining extensions as long as they were dedicated to mining only and specifically informed users of their purpose and for their consent. The policy was not enough to safeguard the Chrome Web Store from malicious add-ons, as many tried to bypass Google’s policies.

With the new ban, Google will remove even extensions that are openly designed for mining. No new mining extensions are being accepted and existing ones will be delisted by June.

Archive Poster, a popular Chrome extension, designed to manage Tumblr posts, was discovered to be mining Monero from hundreds of thousands different devices without permission. An Android app was caught in January also mining Monero from millions of devices.

“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 added. “The key to maintaining a healthy extensions ecosystem is to keep the platform open and flexible…This empowers our developers to build creative and innovative customizations for Chrome browser users.”

Google’s is banning Cryptocurrency-related advertisements too

In addition to this ban, June will mark the start of Google’s other cryptocurrency related ban. We have written before about Google banning cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering related advertisement. They have made the decision to ban these advertisements from Google Adwords earlier this year.

Google is not the first internet giant to make the move. The social media giant, Facebook banned cryptocurrency and ICO-related advertisements earlier this year. Twitter made an announcement last week, that they made the same decision.

There were other stories about big companies being under attack by cryptojacking software. Google itself was a victim and its DoubleClick Ads were used to distribute crypto mining malware. In February, electric vehicle maker Tesla was exploited, as mining malware compromised Tesla’s cloud. U.K. government websites were also cryptojacked.

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