Google Suspends Paid Chrome Extensions

Google Suspends Paid Chrome ExtensionsGoogle announced Friday they would temporarily suspend publishing or updating paid Chrome extensions. Developers started to notice updates were being rejected last week before the announcement and took to twitter. The rejection notice is a blanket “Spam and Placement in the Store” message to any paid extension developers trying to update their extension software.

Chrome extensions are small pieces of software that run within the internet browser. Extensions let the user customize their browser experience. Some popular extensions block ads from being displayed, optimize memory usage, or manage online passwords.

“Earlier this month the Chrome Web Store team detected a significant increase in the number of fraudulent transactions involving paid Chrome extensions that aim to exploit users.” Simeon Vincent, developer advocate for Chrome Extensions at Google, posted Friday. “Due to the scale of this abuse, we have temporarily disabled publishing paid items. This is a temporary measure meant to stem this influx as we look for long-term solutions to address the broader pattern of abuse.”

Google has not gone into detail as to the method of the fraud, and have not committed publicly to a timeline to resolve the issue. “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.” Vincent concluded.

Other Google engineers said the fraudulent activity started early in the month, and was increasing rapidly causing Google to act.

The ban is only on paid chrome extensions and their updates. The existing paid extensions can still be downloaded, but will not be updated until the suspension is lifted. “items that do not use the Chrome Web Store payments are not affected by this issue.” Vincent added on Monday.

Google Chrome was introduced ten years ago and now dominates the browser marketplace with a 69% market share against its competitors.

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Posted by Charles Wright