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Google Chrome to Warn Users if a Potentially Malicious Extension Is No Longer in the Store


August 18, 2023

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Google Chrome to Warn Users if a Potentially Malicious Extension Is No Longer in the Store

Google has announced that, starting with Chrome 117, the browser will inform users when they have an extension installed that’s no longer present in the store for whatever reason.

Downloadable malicious packages get all the limelight in the public consciousness regarding security. ”Be careful what you download!“ is good advice, but it’s often mistakenly applied to executables, archives, malicious documents and some other types of files. What about browser extensions? The truth is that we need to look at them with the same kind of scrutiny.

“Starting in Chrome 117, Chrome will proactively highlight to users when an extension they have installed is no longer in the Chrome Web Store,” said Developer Relations Engineer for Chrome Extensions, Oliver Dunk.

Google says three separate occurrences can trigger that specific warning:

· The extension has been unpublished by the developer.

· The extension has been taken down for violating Chrome Web Store policy.

· The item was marked as malware.

“We have designed this change to keep the ecosystem safe for users while limiting the chances that this will impact genuine extensions,” Dunk said. “If an issue is resolved, the notification is automatically cleared. The notification will not be displayed for an extension when the developer has been notified of a possible violation and has been given time to address the issue or appeal.”

To be clear, Google Chrome will not remove troublesome notifications; it will only issue a warning and send users to review them and perform any actions that might be necessary. The only difference is that extensions marked as malware will trigger a warning and get automatically disabled (not deleted) immediately.

With so many extensions available for Google Chrome, some false positives will pop up, but Google hopes the new security measure won’t impact legitimate extensions.




Silviu is a seasoned writer who followed the technology world for almost two decades, covering topics ranging from software to hardware and everything in between.

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