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)
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.