Google Bans Extensions Following Surge In Fraudulent Transaction On Chrome Web Store

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Google recently announced an updated timeline for ending Chrome apps. However, the Google security team is right now fixing the booming frauds on the Chrome Web Store. The company has indefinitely suspended publishing or updating of any commercial Chrome extensions on the official Chrome Web Store following a sudden increase in fraudulent transactions.

Google Bans Extensions Following Surge In Chrome Web Store Frauds

 

Chrome Web Store Fraud

The spike of fraudulent transactions began earlier this month and is happening "at scale", Google said. The company has taken an extreme step to stop all publishing or updating on all paid extensions. This includes all that requires a fee before installing, extensions that work based on monthly subscriptions, or Chrome extensions that use one-time in-app purchases.

"This is a temporary measure meant to stem this influx as we look for long-term solutions to address the broader pattern of abuse," said Simeon Vincent, Developer Advocate for Chrome Extensions at Google.

Presently, extension developers trying to publish any new paid Chrome extension or push a new update are receiving an automated message that says 'Spam and Placement in the Store'. However, the existing commercial extensions are still available for download via the official Chrome Web Store, but there won't be any updates.

Chrome Web Store Fraud Effect

The Chrome Web Store fraud has affected many users and developers alike. Some widely popular extensions like Dashlane (for password management) and Comeet (an app meeting planners) are among the most affected. For now, it's hard to say how long the ban will last.

A report from ZDNet notes that Jeff Johson, the creator of the StopTheMadness Chrome extension, says that Google has been working on blocking updates for paid Chrome extension for days now. "We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible, but we do not have a resolution timeline at the moment. Apologies for the inconvenience," said Vincent.

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