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Now Chrome Can Block Ads That Release Power From Your CPU | Instant News

Chrome browser user take heart: Google The developer launched a feature that eliminates abusive advertising that secretly releases your CPU resources, bandwidth, and electricity.


This story originally appeared on Ars Technica, a trusted source for technology news, technology policy analysis, reviews, and more. Ars is owned by WIRED’s parent company, Condé Nast.

This step is done in response to a swarm of sites and advertisements first considered in 2017 who secretly use a visitor’s computer to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. When a site or ad displays content, the embedded code performs intensive resource calculations and deposits the mined currency in the developer-defined wallet. To hide fraud, this code is often very obscured. The only signs that something is wrong is a rotating fan, a drained battery, and for those who are watching, an increase in network resource consumption.

In a The post was published on Thursday, Chrome Project Manager Marshall Vale said that while the percentage of crude advertisements is very low – somewhere around 0.3 percent – they are responsible for 28 percent of CPU usage and 27 percent of network data.

“We recently discovered that a small percentage of advertisements use disproportionate device resources, such as batteries and network data, without the user knowing,” Vale wrote. “These advertisements (such as those that mine cryptocurrency, are poorly programmed, or not optimized for network use) can deplete battery life, saturate tense networks, and cost money.”

To limit practices, Chrome limits the resources that display ads can use before users interact with them. If the limit is reached, the ad frame will navigate to an error page telling the user that too much resources are being used.

To arrive at the ad deactivation threshold, Chrome developers measure a large sample of ads that Chrome users encounter. Ads that use more CPU resources or network data than 99.9 percent of all ads will be blocked. That means 4 megabytes of network data or 15 seconds of CPU usage in a period of 30 seconds or 60 seconds of total CPU usage.

Chrome developers plan to experiment with limits over the next few months and add them to a stable browser version at the end of August. The purpose of the delayed launch is to give ad makers and providers the time to put limits on their coding. Chrome users who want to activate the feature faster can activate the flag in chrome: // flags / # enable-heavy-ad-intervention.

Firefox last year added a mechanism to block cryptojacking. It works by blocking known cryptojacking domains. This protection is useful, but the whack-a-mole approach is problematic because the domain is trivial to change. Some antivirus providers have provided a means for users to get rid of advertisements involved in so-called cryptojacking or similar types of abuse. Now, Chrome users have the original way to do the same thing.

This story originally appeared on Ars Technica.

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