PSA: this website crashes most browsers, can cause iPhones and iPads to reboot

PSA: this website crashes most browsers, can cause iPhones and iPads to reboot
A new prank is making the rounds on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms. In a nutshell, people are sharing links to a website that crashes almost every browser you try to load it in.

The website is intuitively called CrashSafari.com, and it does what its name suggests and even more. In fact, we tried to load it up in Chrome and Firefox on Windows, Chrome on Android, and each browser crashed. In some instances, such as Safari on the iPhone and iPad, the website can cause a complete reboot of the device. Funnily, the website doesn't do its trick when opened in Internet Explorer 11.0 on Windows 8.1. 

Obviously, we want you to take our word on this and avoid going to the website. Unfortunately, however, it looks like social media pranksters are running the address through URL shorteners and maliciously include it in apparently unrelated posts. From the looks of it, the pranks are succeeding: one of the shortened URLs was visited more than 100,000 times, and we're sure that many other similar links exist.

On the upside, the misbehaving site does not pose a security risk. It does not steal your data, it does not contain worms, trojans or other forms of malware. It just crashes your browser. At the most, it reboots your iPhone or iPad.

Given that this page can crash all the browsers that you can think of, you might be inclined to anticipate that the code behind it is complicated, right? Well, it turns out that it's not. The page only consists out of a header and a Javascript code that continuously calls the HTML5 History API, a programming interface that allows websites to change the URL of the page without hitting refresh, in a loop.

As a matter of precaution, you might want to think twice before following any short links. The prank is likely to fade into obscurity as days pass. 

source: CrashSafari.com via The Guardian

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23 Comments

1. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

On Microsoft Edge broswer, it types out a bunch of letters and numbers and asks..."What were you expecting?" Haha. But didnt crash it, didnt cause a reboot. A browser crash is common even with trusted verified and signed websites, but causing your device or computer to reboot is really bad. Is this a security issue? Because the text message that cause iOS mobile device to crash and reboot really isn't funny at all and appears to be a security risk. Code that can crash a running operating system today and force your device to reboot is really bad.

12. vincelongman

Posts: 5732; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

For my Nexus 5 Firefox: same message also with a window saying warning unresponsive script, option to stop or continue waiting. Tried continue waiting for a few minutes nothing happened Chrome: my brightness manager (Lux) got kicked out of ram multiple times, then Chrome crash and Nova launcher had to reload

13. JC557

Posts: 1921; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Yup. I wish Edge supported extensions I use on FF and Chrome as both those browsers have become bloated and sloppy in recent updates (bikeshedding I'm guessing). Instead I have to use alternatives such as Pale Moon, Waterfox, Ice Dragon, and Comodo Dragon. I'll try this om those browsers later on when I get home.

2. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Went to the site on Chrome for iOS and nothing happened. Just sat "loading" for a little bit and then displayed a blank page with a bunch of numbers in the url bar.

3. benno

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 17, 2015

That does some serious s**t when accessed on chrome Android. FC on a few apps including Nova. Changed wallpaper! Really interesting.

16. tedkord

Posts: 17418; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Just tried on UC Browser on Android on my Note 5. Didn't crash, just never loaded.

4. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

I just tried it on my BlackBerry, while nothing crashed it failed to load, and I was still able as it wasn't loading to open a new tab for phonearena, not sure how to take it.

5. TyrionLannister unregistered

Tried it on chrome(64-bit) on windows 10 and expectedly, the browser froze. I launched the task manager to see what was happening and saw disk usage ->100% and chrome taking more than 200 MB RAM per second. Within a few seconds, chrome took over 6 GB of RAM. Closed the process immediately. On microsoft edge, it doesn't even load.

20. villagerguyz

Posts: 96; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

I have Chrome 64-bit too on Windows 8.1 and I can verify this. If I don't close the process ASAP, RAM usage increases & it will render my laptop useless (froze) until I long-pressed power button. Same goes for Mozilla Firefox. On my Zenfone 5 (with stock lollipop 5.0.2), I tried loading that site using stock ASUS browser & it doesn't load but I can't load another website in new tab. No increase in RAM usage. I also tried loading that site on my Xperia E1 (android kitkat) with Naked Browser and the browser froze. Surpisingly IE11 shows the message "What were you expecting?".... lol P/S: All browsers mentioned are updated to latest version.

6. Rich123

Posts: 88; Member since: Oct 30, 2014

Kaspersky IS 2016 blocks access to crashsafari.com in Win 7 with IE 11, Chrome, and FireFox.

7. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Tried Opera classic on Android and just gave a message that it couldn't reach server.

9. Unordinary unregistered

iPhone 6S+. No crash or reboot for me. Cus I didn't visit. At this point it's just a "click this button to restart your springboard" button.

11. Unordinary unregistered

Edit: just tested it out on Safari on iPhone 6S+. The webpage opens and nothing happens. At all. Apple is yet again swift on another hotfix I'm assuming. Rightonya!

10. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Still works better than PA

15. JayBEE

Posts: 181; Member since: Apr 03, 2014

On Firefox for Android (Galaxy Note 3) under Lolipop, the browser detected an unresponsive script and gave me an option to terminate it. I terminated the script, then the browser displayed "What were you expecting?" I closed the browser and continue to live life happily ever after. No crash, hang, or reboot here.

17. Rock_Hardwood

Posts: 117; Member since: May 11, 2015

didnt crash browsers in fedora. opera was fine but you had to end a script on firefox

18. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

IPad crash and reboot

19. AlikMalix unregistered

iphone 6s crashes and reboots - but only takes 3 seconds to reboot from time crashed to time you can unlock the screen (anyone else experience that?) EDIT: Apparently that's not OS Crash, it's a springboard crash - which does take only a second to go back to normal (instead of rebooting the OS)

21. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Most likely a springboard respring.

23. AlikMalix unregistered

I remember seeing this once or twice in early iOS 8 version.

25. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

didn't load in opera mini :p

26. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Maybe re-title this article? Saying "This website crashes most browers..." is a bit confusing.

27. Proxy.from.Deep

Posts: 26; Member since: Jan 09, 2015

XP SP3 with Firefox - in first load freezed for few sec , then "script doest respond" warning and that`s all .

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