Google’s cracking the whip on rogue extensions, by tightening the noose around the way extensions are installed in its Chrome browser.
Up until now, vendors of software could silently install Chrome Extensions, without requiring any input from the user. Google has found that this feature of Chrome has been getting widely abused, so in Chrome version 25, the ability to silently install an extension will be taken away.
Any software that requires a Google Chrome Extension installed will now have to prompt the user for permission to not just install, but also enable the said extension. Another security feature being built into Chrome 25 will essentially disable all extensions installed on Chrome, and will require to be re-enabled by the user.
These new changes will bring Google Chrome on the same security-plane as Mozilla Firefox, which has had always kept a tight handle on the way extensions were being handled. Extensions had in the recent times become an easy way to hijack into a user’s browser, along with granting it the ability to run other malicious code.
A closer watch on what extensions do get installed is a great idea and now that Google’s is following suite, things can only improve from here on. Installing your favorite anti-virus may become slightly more inconvenient, now that it will require that one extra click to confirm installation of a Chrome Extension, but at least you know exactly what’s being installed on your system.