Browser Hijackers & Other Threats Could Take Advantage of the ‘ExtensionInstallForcelist’ Chrome Policy to Make Their Removal Problematic
‘ExtensionInstallForcelist’ Chrome Policy is a good example of how browser hijackers and other threats can use an actual Chrome policy to modify Chrome settings. All by itself, the ‘ExtensionInstallForcelist’ Chrome Policy is not malicious in any way. Administrators can use the policy to specify which extensions and applications can be installed automatically without the user’s authorization. This policy can also list apps that the affected user cannot uninstall. Thus, browser hijackers and potentially unwanted programs that employ this policy may be able to resist removal. Therefore, if you are trying to remove a browser hijacker, but it does not go away, there is a good chance that it uses the ‘ExtensionInstallForcelist’ Chrome Policy, too.
Probably, the most frustrating part about this policy is that it can only be seen when users access certain Chrome settings. However, even if you access the Chrome policy settings, the list of apps in the Policies section will look like gibberish to a regular user. That is because the apps are listed not by their actual names but by their policy values, and so, all the user sees are long and random strings of lower-case letters.
Therefore, to remove the ‘ExtensionInstallForcelist’ Chrome Policy, users must consider resetting their browser’s settings to default. Resetting the browser should also delete the browser hijacker that added the policy in the first place. However, once the browser is clean, users should also consider scanning their system with an anti-malware tool because you can never know what other threats might be lurking in the system’s background.
‘ExtensionInstallForcelist’ Chrome Policy is not an actual security threat, so users have to remember how this policy gets added to their browser if they want to avoid it. Since this policy is often used by Mac browser hijackers, adware and potentially unwanted programs, users should know what they can do to avoid those first. Browser hijackers often come bundled with freeware, or they reach users through pop-ups that users encounter on unreliable websites. If you review your web browsing habits and weed out everything that might lead you to dubious pages with harmful content, you should be able to avoid the annoying security threats that use the ‘ExtensionInstallForcelist’ Chrome Policy to take over your browser.