Google Chrome extensions fail? you are not alone


There seems to be a mysterious issue affecting some Chrome extensions, but it’s intermittent enough that it hasn’t been fixed yet. The issue is annoying enough that a developer posted two $4,000 bug bounties and created an Upwork job. SEO who pays up to $150 an hour. These prompts might inspire others to help locate and fix the bug.

First spotted by Tech Radar and described in detail in a blog post written by Jói Sigurdsson, founder and CEO of the CrankWheel screen sharing extension for the Google Chrome browser, the bug is related to a failure to trigger an action when the extension’s icon is clicked on the toolbar of tools. As this is often how an extension is used, it is a crippling error. Unfortunately, the problem is difficult to recreate and is estimated to only affect 3% to 5% of those who have installed affected extensions.

Sigurdsson published the Thumbtack to the Chromium Bug Tracker in April 2022 and got confirmation from another person in June 2022 that the issue affects other extensions, some quite popular. Two password managers, LastPass and Norton, apparently suffer from the bug, along with Google’s Picture in Picture extension and Screencastify screen recorder. This puts the number of people potentially facing the problem in the millions.

Tracking down elusive and intermittent bugs can be quite difficult, so for anyone with sufficient programming skills and experience developing Chrome extensions, a nice challenge awaits. The first bug bounty of $4,000 is for being able to consistently reproduce (90% or more) the problem. The second bounty of $4,000 will be paid for a confirmed patch accepted by the Chromium team. This is in addition to the hourly rate offered in Upwork.

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