Sometime during the morning of July 25th, 2018, MetaMask, a browser extension for interacting with the Ethereum network, was deleted from the Google Chrome Web Store without any notice or explanation. All of its other versions on Firefox, Opera, and Brave were working normally. The company has now confirmed on Twitter that the app has been listed back again.
MetaMask @metamask_io tweeted:
PSA2: We are back on the chrome webstore. Stay tuned for a formal retrospective from the team.— MetaMask (@metamask_io) July 25, 2018
MetaMask is one of the popular and most used decentralized apps (DApps) on the Ethereum network, which allows you to run Ethereum dApps right in your browser without running a full Ethereum node. You can find it here: MetaMask Chrome Plugin
The removal was done in error, MetaMask said in a Medium post. The company was earlier unsure of the reasons why Google Chrome temporarily delisted its extension from the store, as per the official tweet.
MetaMask @metamask_io had tweeted:
PSA: MetaMask has been delisted from the Chrome Web Store. We are unsure of why this is the case and we will update everyone as we get more information. All other browsers are unaffected.— MetaMask (@metamask_io) July 25, 2018
Amidst all this, fraudsters looked to take advantage of the chaos by placing phishing apps which impersonated MetaMask. Augur, an open-source, decentralized, peer-to-peer oracle and prediction market protocol built on the Ethereum blockchain, had warned users for the same.
Augur @AugurProject had tweeted:
The @metamask_io currently listed in the @googlechrome app store is a fake, phishing app. Do NOT download. The real MetaMask extension has been removed this morning without explanation. Follow @metamask_io for updates. pic.twitter.com/4CPS3wfFqE— Augur (@AugurProject) July 25, 2018
Now all the operations are back to normal within MetaMask, the company said. "Expect us to push a new update soon in relief. Chrome users should now be able to accept the said update, and all links should work fine — no listings have changed. The most egregious offender on the Chrome Web Store has been removed. The team will have ongoing discussions on future red-alert scenarios and have careful protocols to handle each one. In the most optimistic case, we will share the majority of these red-alert scenarios publicly to increase transparency," it further added.