Google Chrome gets native external extension installation blocking
Google Chrome users who want to protect their web browser from unauthorized external extension installation did not have a lot of options in this regard until recently. An update to the Extensions Update Notifier brought controls to the browser that informs you when an extension gets installed by third party software in to the browser. The extension is not capable of disabling the extension though, so that it will run - at least - for a while.
Third party extensions, often installed by security software to add additional protection to the browser, may be abused by companies to install questionable or outright malicious code in a browser. Sometimes it is not clear what an extension does, which is for instance the case for the Settings Protector extension that has been making the rounds lately. Most users will notice the extension eventually, but no one seems to know where it came from exactly and what its purpose is.
A new feature has landed in Chromium that will prevent incidents like this from happening in the future. The new feature will automatically disable extensions that are installed through third party sources. This is done to protect the user from harm that these extensions can cause.
You will be notified about the event by the settings button icon that is indicating that a new extension has been added to the browser. When you click on the icon, you see information about the new extension in the context menu. A click displays an install dialog giving you options to enable the extension if you want to use it in the Google browser.
It usually does not take long before Chromium features land in Chrome Canary and Dev builds. Chrome stable and beta users may need to wait a bit longer before they get the security feature, but it will land eventually in those versions of the browser as well. Additional information about the change are available on the Chrome Code Review website. (via Francois)Advertisement
Thanks for the heads-up. Very glad to see a genuine Chrome feature that replaces Extensions Update Notifier, because the latter led to a big snafu. After only a couple of weeks (or was it days?) it updated itself to a new version. With that, it opened another Chrome window.
Neither of the Chrome windows would operate – or close. Actually the entire OS had become *nearly* locked – something I have not seen in years. I was just about to hit the power button and lose a bunch of ongoing work when I barely managed to access the Task Manager. Closing one Chrome process entry after another finally hit on the magic one. At the next launch of Chrome, I removed Extensions Update Notifier.