Nasty URL bug brings Google Chrome to a screeching halt

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A nasty bug that makes Google Chrome crash.

As per reports, simply entering a 16-character link into the browser address field and hitting enter, or even clicking on a 16-character string is enough to crash Google browser. A user of popular online bulletin board site Reddit recently discovered a bug in Google’s Chrome browser that makes the browser incredibly easy to crash.If you use Google Chrome, you’ll want to watch out for this bug: According to VentureBeat, a specific character string of text could bring your browser crashing to the ground.The website created a Google Chrome plugin — dubbed “Making America Great Again” — that makes a picture of The Donald with a penis for a nose appear on a user’s screen every time his or her cursor hovers over the candidate’s name. The bug was originally detected by Andris Atteka, who explained on his blog about how users can easily trip up Chrome just by adding a null character in the URL string.

Not just Chrome, but this bug also affects certain versions of the Opera browser as well although it doesn’t seem to have any adverse affect on Internet Explorer, Edge and Firefox. Entering the text ‘http://a/%%30%30’ into the address field causes the latest version of Chrome on Windows to crash, although there are versions of Chrome on other platforms (such as Android and Mac) that seem to be resilient to this vulnerability. The bug has also been found to affect certain other browsers based on the Webkit platform, such as latest versions of Opera, Blackberry browser and in Firefox it causes the browser to load damaged Url. In fact, even hovering the mouse over this particular link could cause that browser tab to crash, most likely due to the page preloading mechanism that Chrome tends to utilize. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.) Security researcher Andris Atteka originally discovered the bug by entering a URL with the added characters tacked on (a total of 26 characters), but VentureBeat noted that it takes even fewer characters—only 16 in total—to crash the browser.

The link reported by him has 26 characters, but VentureBeat says to have shaved off 10 more characters to come up with an even shorter link that is also capable of tripping up Chrome. Google has claimed that the new version has managed to reduce memory usage by upto 10 per cent, and works even better with complex websites – freeing up almost a quarter of memory used by a tab, when Gmail was open on it. Google’s reason behind the move is that additional Flash-based content increases a page’s load time, and causes devices to consume more battery power.

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