The Great Suspender extension has been removed from the Chrome Web Store, which suspends unused tabs in the browser and forcibly unloads their resources to free up memory. This simple tool has enjoyed immense popularity and has been installed over 2,000,000 times.
According to Bleeping Computer , in the summer of 2020, the developer of The Great Suspender sold his brainchild to an unknown organization, since he himself did not have time to support the project. Even then, many had suspicions about buyers, because someone paid money for a free open source extension that did not bring profit to the developer. The fact is that in the past, such deals have more than once led to the fact that new owners began to spy on users or inject ads into their browsers .
Unfortunately, this time the story seems to be developing in a similar scenario. So, back in October 2020, the new owners of The Great Suspender updated the extension to version 7.1.8, which included scripts that track user behavior and execute arbitrary code received from a remote server. These suspicious changes were quickly noticed by Microsoft experts, after which the extension was removed from the Microsoft Edge Store, and then a new version 7.1.9 was released without malware.
What happened is now anyone’s guess, as last week Google simply declared The Great Suspender to be malicious without giving any reason. It is unclear whether Google specialists discovered additional malicious scripts to the code or whether they belatedly responded to what happened earlier and the concerns of the community.
Perhaps some users will be comforted by the fact that version 7.1.6 can still be found on GitHub (the last release of the real developer The Great Suspender, which does not contain malicious scripts).