Chrome Extensions Are Not Reviewed By Google Team

This news is shocking for the users who assume that the browser extensions downloaded from the official galleries are safe to use and approved by the browser vendors or the gallery moderators. Google Chrome team has not imposed any kind of moderation on the extensions, apps and themes available through the Chrome Web Store.

This should be noted here that Mozilla and Opera review all items available through their official add-on stores. Hence, the users are safe from possible malicious behaviour of the browser add-ons. Surprisingly, Google has no such kind of restrictions. Although, Chrome extensions are properly sandboxed so that they have limited access to browser resources.

awesome-screenshot-amazon

popular Chrome extension “Awesome Screenshot” inserted Amazon affiliates links on Google search result pages.

Recently, a popular Chrome extension, Awesome Screenshot, was found to be modifying Google’s search result pages without users’ permission. This incident is enough to show vulnerability of Chrome extensions. The developer had to remove this extension from the Web Store after the issue was exposed.

Posted by Arpit Kumar on August 21, 2011.

Arpit Kumar is a web enthusiast watching browsers for long. He maintains several open-sourced browser-based tools including many popular extensions. Follow Arpit on Twitter, or email him at arpit[@]browsernative.com.

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