In what Google found a significant rise in a number of fraudulent transactions by many commercial paid extensions, it has taken a penultimate step of disabling all the commercial extensions of Chrome Web Store temporarily. Google’s detection of such spam happenings with commercial extensions has barred those developers in updating them, and users from installing new extensions.

A Precautionary Measure?

This was reported by Simeon Vincent, Extensions Developer Advocate of Google in the forum. He revealed that Chrome’s Web Store team has detected a rise in fraudulent transactions caused by commercial extensions earlier this month, and as a precautionary measure, the firm’s suspending new installations and updates of such extensions!

Google Suspends New Extensions Installation and Updates Due to Fraudulent Activities
Google Suspends New Extensions Installation and Updates Due to Fraudulent Activities

Last year, Google’s Project Strobe tightened the extensions policies to take only relevant permissions and to publish their privacy policies on how they’d handle user data. This made few malicious extensions to wash off and most of them switching to ask only what needed.

Simeon said, “This is a temporary measure meant to stem this influx as we look for long-term solutions to address the broader pattern of abuse.” Most if the developers who have submitted their applications for new extensions were rejected, citing “Spam and Placement in the Store”.

Commercial extensions as the ones which needed to be purchased before installing, one-time in-app purchases, monthly subscription models are under effect now. These are still functional for those who’re currently using, but the makers of such are barred from pushing updates and additional features. It’s unclear how long this ban lasts, as Simeon said, “We do not have a resolution timeline at the moment.”

Finally, this announcement is just to be considered as a proactive measure for stopping future exploitations. Google said that those developers who got rejected with their new applications to make changes and resubmit for approvals.


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