You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Researcher Discovers One Little Link That Can Take Down Your Chrome Browser A bug makes this 16-character string dangerous in Google Chrome, even without clicking on it.

By Carly Okyle

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While there's concern over the sophisticated techniques used by black-hat hackers, sometimes a simple code error is enough to do some damage. Just as a microscopic germ can take down a healthy immune system, a recently discovered short string of characters can crash a whole Google Chrome browser.

Entering the phrase "http://a/%%30%30" -- without quotation marks -- into the address bar and hitting the "Enter" key will cause either the tab or the whole browser to shut down, and any unsaved work open in the browser could be lost. As a hyperlink, the string of characters is also dangerous to anyone who clicks on it or just hovers their mouse over the link, The Guardian reports.

Related: Samsung, Google to Release Monthly Android Security Patches

A security researcher from Latvia named Andris Atteka discovered the bug four days ago, according to his blog. The issue seems to be that the string contains null characters -- or characters that Chrome doesn't recognize as valid letters, numbers or symbols. When this string is activated in Chrome, the browser crashes as it attempts to process the URL.

"The issue appears to be small but is actually serious, as it is possible for any of your friends to tweet out the link in question, and crash all Chrome users whose Twitter timeline will load that link," TheHackerNews.com explains.

According to his blog, Atteka wasn't compensated for his findings because the bug is considered a "DOS vulnerability," not a security risk.

The bug affects current versions of Chrome for Windows and OS X, but The Guardian reports that versions of Chrome for Android phones don't crash. While this Reddit thread points out development tools and Android web view are not immune to the bug, Chromium developers have found a fix for the issue. It will take time before the corrected code makes its way to Chrome users.

Related: Microsoft Offers Up to $100,000 to People Who Identify Security Bugs


Carly Okyle

Assistant Editor, Contributed Content

Carly Okyle is an assistant editor for contributed content at Entrepreneur.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Grab Microsoft Project Professional 2021 for $20 During This Flash Sale

This small investment is well worth the time it will save your team in organizing and monitoring project work.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.

Business News

Microsoft's New AI Can Make Photographs Sing and Talk — and It Already Has the Mona Lisa Lip-Syncing

The VASA-1 AI model was not trained on the Mona Lisa but could animate it anyway.

Data & Recovery

This File Backup Tool Subscription Is $25 for Life for One Week Only

AOEMI Backupper Professional is designed to protect, store, and transfer user's files for them.