Google removed one of its Chrome browser extensions last week because it contained malware. Known as “The Great Suspender”, the popular Chrome extension has been used by millions and the company has also taken the unusual step of disabling it from people’s browsers.
The extension that has now been removed from the Chrome web store would suspend browser tabs that are not currently in use. This would replace these tabs with a blank gray screen and only load them when you return to them.
Reports of suspicious behavior of the extension had been going on since November last year, prompting Microsoft to block the extension on its Edge browser.
However, according to another report, the original developer of the extension, Dean Oemcke, sold it in June 2020 to an unknown entity, after which two versions of the extension were released to Chrome users. Subsequently, the latest versions were found to contain malware that tracks online users and commits advertising fraud.
Alternatively, users can still use the latest version of the extension through GitHub, running Chrome in developer mode.
In any case, we recommend avoiding the extension and removing it from all your browsers if you’re still using it.