Retrospective on the Temporary Removal of MetaMask From the Chrome Web Store

Kevin Serrano
Jul 26, 2018 · 4 min read

September 18, 2018 Update: as of this date, no current MetaMask phishers are present on the Chrome Web Store. Please consult our Twitter and future Medium posts for any new major incidents.

tl;dr : yesterday MetaMask was taken off of the Chrome Web Store for about 6 hours. It ended up being a removal in error on Chrome’s side. Below: our thought processes and lessons learned. Plus: kudos to our supporters.

Sometime during the morning of July 25th, 2018, one of our team members noticed that MetaMask was missing from the Chrome Web Store.

This proved to be an interesting wake-up call for a majority of our team.

What was left when one searched the term ‘MetaMask’ on the store was a few re-branded MetaMask forks and one ambiguously branded lookalike. No email from Google at the time alerted us as to why it was taken down (though later, we were notified that the email supposedly bounced, something we plan to investigate and fix tomorrow). All of our other versions — on Firefox, Opera, and Brave — were working normally.

This presented the product with a few immediate concerns:

Without an express line of contact to arbitrate the decision nor any knowledge at the time why the removal happened (though rumors did spread quickly), we prepared for the worst possible scenario. Twitter blasts, reaching out to connections, rewriting knowledge base articles, and watching our communications channels took up a large chunk of work from the day.

Thankfully, by approximately 12:40 PST the same day, we were back on the store. The reason given: the removal was done in error.

The community was 100% behind us the entire time, something we wholeheartedly appreciate. Big shout-outs to Brave & BAT, Augur, MyCrypto, IDEX, and the several other people and organizations who helped propagate the initial announcement and inform our community. You all represent a community worth developing for.

So, now that everything is said and done, what does this mean at a basic level?

As the mango on top, this incident has allowed us to ask meaningful questions about security and continuing to earn trust and acceptance from our community.

Again, we thank everyone for your support through this ordeal, though short it was.

MetaMask

MetaMask is a bridge that allows you to visit the distributed web of tomorrow in your browser today. It allows you to run Ethereum dApps right in your browser without running a full Ethereum node.

Thanks to Bobby Dresser.

Kevin Serrano

Written by

Always Have Hope

MetaMask

MetaMask

MetaMask is a bridge that allows you to visit the distributed web of tomorrow in your browser today. It allows you to run Ethereum dApps right in your browser without running a full Ethereum node.