According to the recent Statcounter data in March 2021, Chrome leads with a 64.19% of browser market share worldwide. In North America, it continues to be widely used, having more than half of the market share at 50.68%. However, Chrome can be a memory hog at times, and because of this, Chrome extensions were created to help make our browsing experience faster and better. Among these Chrome browser add-ons, The Great Suspender was favored by a lot of users.
The Great Suspender and Issues Behind It
- The Great Suspender is a lightweight, free, and open-source Google Chrome extension that automatically suspends unused tabs to free up system resources.
- Has been a consistently recommended add-on with over 2 million installs on the Chrome Web Store
- The last official release posted on GitHub was 7.1.6
- Around June 2020, Dean Oemcke, the original developer, sold it and transferred its ownership to an unknown party.
- Since the takeover, it was noted that a couple of code changes to the extension’s GitHub repository were made, and these (7.1.8 and 7.1.9) were pushed to the users’ machines without their knowledge and permission.
- The arbitrary code was said to be executed from a remote server, which appeared to be used to commit a variety of tracking and fraud actions similar to malware.
- By February 2021, Google removed it and left the users with a message stating that “This extension contains malware.”
HouseCall to the Rescue!
Do you think your PC is infected by The Great Suspender? How can you check if your PC is free from malicious threats distributed by The Great Suspender? To answer these pressing questions, you can use Trend Micro’s free scanning tool, HouseCall.
With HouseCall, you can scan your PC for a wide range of security threats, including viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware. Yes, including The Great Suspender and other malicious threats it possibly brought along to your system. Also, it offers the flexibility of choosing the extent of the scan you can initiate, such as quick, full, or custom scan.
Go Beyond Manual Detection of Threats
While HouseCall is a handy tool that detects, identifies and cleans malware (like The Great Suspender) on demand, it doesn’t offer the real-time protection provided by Trend Micro Maximum Security that is necessary to prevent threats from infecting your PC in the first place.
Some Bits of Advice
- Before installing a browser extension, check out the developer’s website to verify its legitimacy and security.
- Do a little research and look for these types of user reviews: claiming something odd has happened to the user’s system, suspecting that data is being stolen, or for anything suspicious.
- Do not install too many browser add-ons as this makes your system more vulnerable to possible attacks. Choose what’s most useful to you and remove the rest.
- Only install from trusted sources such as the official Chrome Web Store.
- While a free malware scanning tool like HouseCall can be handy, keep in mind that you should always use a security solution such as Trend Micro Maximum Security to protect your device, privacy, data, and family.