With more and more Chrome extensions getting hijacked by various threat actors, Google has decided to add two new features to the browser in order to make it safer to use. The changes will alert users when the extensions they use hijack proxy setting or the new tab page.
In the past several weeks, it was revealed that numerous extensions have been hijacked by individuals after they used phishing techniques on the developers of said extensions. The apps’ source code repository was taken over, malicious code was added, the extensions were repackaged and pushed to users, Bleeping Computer reports.
Chrome’s new changes were spotted in the most recent Canary builds, which means it might take a bit longer before the main build gets them too. The changes appear in the form of popups on the right side of the screen, near where the extension icons appear.
The popups warn against extensions that are trying to take over the user’s proxy settings, which would allow them to hijack the Internet connection the user is on. Extensions that perform this action usually redirect malicious traffic through the servers, resulting in replacing legitimate ads with their own, for instance.
The second warning issued by the Chrome Canary build is for those extensions that can change the home tab. This could allow those extensions to inject custom web pages or redirect users to a specific search engine, aside from the one they’ve chosen as default.
Thankfully, Google Chrome doesn’t just warn users about what these extensions could do, they also allow them to revert to the previous settings.
Let’s hope that Google’s efforts to fight against the increasing number of malicious extensions in Chome will pay off, for the sake of everyone using the browser.