Chrome Web Store

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Chrome Web Store
Chrome Web Store Logo 2012-2015.svg
The Chrome Web Store as seen from Google Chrome OS
Chrome Web Store as seen from Chrome
OpenedDecember 6, 2010; 8 years ago (2010-12-06)

The Chrome Web Store (CWS) is Google's online store for its Chrome web browser. CWS hosts thousands of extensions and web apps.


CWS opened in December 2010.[1] A year later it was redesigned to "catalyze a big increase in traffic, across downloads, users, and total number of apps".[2] As of June 2012, there were 750 million total installs of content hosted on CWS.[3]

Some extension developers have sold their extensions to third-parties who then incorporated adware.[4][5] In 2014, Google removed two such extensions from CWS after many users complained about unwanted pop-up ads.[6] The following year, Google acknowledged that about five percent of visits to its own websites had been altered by extensions with adware.[7][8][9]


Malware remains a problem on CWS.[10][11][12][13] In January 2018, security researchers found four malicious extensions with more than 500,000 combined downloads.[10][14]

Chrome used to allow extensions hosted on CWS to also be installed at the developer's website for the sake of convenience.[15] But this became a malware vector, so it was removed in 2018.[16]


  1. ^ Kincaid, Jason. "Sales Are At A Trickle On Google's Chrome Web Store". TechCrunch. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  2. ^ Empson, Rip. "New Chrome Web Store Proves To Be A Boon For Developers Above (And Below) The Fold". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  3. ^ Vikas SN (2012-06-29). "The Lowdown: Google I/O 2012 Day 2 – 310M Chrome Users, 425M Gmail & More". MediaNama. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  4. ^ "Adware vendors buy Chrome Extensions to send ad- and malware-filled updates". Ars Technica. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  5. ^ Bruce Schneier (21 Jan 2014). "Adware Vendors Buy and Abuse Chrome Extensions".
  6. ^ Winkler, Rolfe. "Google Removes Two Chrome Extensions Amid Ad Uproar". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Ad Injection at Scale: Assessing Deceptive Advertisement Modifications" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-06-05.
  8. ^ "Superfish injects ads into 5 percent of all Google page views". PC World. IDG.
  9. ^ "Superfish injects ads in one in 25 Google page views". CIO. IDG.
  10. ^ a b "Security firm ICEBRG uncovers 4 malicious Chrome extensions - gHacks Tech News". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  11. ^ "Google's bad track record of malicious Chrome extensions continues - gHacks Tech News". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  12. ^ "Chrome Extension Devs Use Sneaky Landing Pages after Google Bans Inline Installs". BleepingComputer. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  13. ^ "Chrome's inline extension install ban already bypassed - gHacks Tech News". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  14. ^ "Google Chrome extensions with 500,000 downloads found to be malicious". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  15. ^ "Using Inline Installation - Google Chrome". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  16. ^ "Improving extension transparency for users". Chromium Blog. Retrieved 2018-12-15.

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