Cryptocurrencies are getting more and more popular each day and 2017 was the year of cryptocurrencies – so much that there were reports about Google Chrome extensions secretly mining these virtual currencies. To stop that, Google Chrome has taken down these extensions.

Everyone is obsessed with cryptocurrencies these days, thanks to the abnormally humongous hikes in the prices of Bitcoins. The popularity of these virtual currencies is rather becoming a problem because websites and extensions are secretly adding code that hijack’s users’ CPU resources to mine virtual currency. In one such report, it was revealed that even Google Chrome had few rouge extensions that were secretly mining cryptocurrencies. Soon after these reports started getting viral, Google removed a Chrome browser extension named the Archive Poster which was reported to be secretly mining cryptocurrency using the CPU power of the users.

The extension allowed Tumblr users to “reblog, queue, draft, and like posts right from another blog’s archive” and it was secretly using CPUs of over 105,000 users to mine cryptocurrency Monero. The extension mined virtual currencies by loading a file from an external URL which contains the Coinhive mining code and it didn’t even ask for additional permissions to run the mining script in Chrome. Once the mining code was loaded, it used the Coinhive JavaScript minor which mines the virtual currency in the background while Chrome is running.

Surprisingly, Archive Poster extension had lakhs of users and a near-perfect rating on the store before the extension was pulled. But after the reports started swirling around, many users started leaving one-star reviews since a month. The extension was soon reported to Google by the users and the company took almost a month to finally yank it from the Chrome Web Store. Incidentally, after the extension was taken down, another extension ‘[SAFE] Archive Poster’ has cropped up, offered by ‘Archive Poster’, the extension does not provide any screenshot of how it works, so just stay away from it.