Why One Random Web Address Can Crash Chrome

As it turns out, one sixteen-character garbage URL is enough to bring Google’s mighty browser crashing to its knees. Here’s the computer science behind the bug.

As Tom Scott explains in the surprisingly understandable video above, it’s all to do with how computers parse binary files. The %30%30 at the end of the URL gets converted into a NULL character, which somewhere down the line throws a bug and crashes the browser.


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I saw this elsewhere and I have to be honest - this is the least interesting thing to ever have gone viral (in the sense I’ve now seen it on multiple sites) in history. Oh ok so you put in some random nonsense string of characters you would never have any reason to put in and it makes your Chrome “crash” and by crash you mean close and you have to re-open it. This is like peak clickbait. If the problem was - enter a very common search word and it permanently bricks Chrome - then you have something. It’s a fucking computer, as much as they’re part of common life now, it’s literally the most complicated thing we have ever devised as a species. So doing something that specifically causes a temporary issue causes a temporary issue? OOOOH. You know if you get in the registry and start deleting stuff it fucks stuff up too. Yes, yes I know there’s more intrigue around binary and coding and etc. but fucking hell it’s not random and it doesn’t crash anything.