This Chrome extension kills its worst CPU-guzzling tendencies

Cryptomining and in-browser malware will be blocked by an added layer of defence

An American computer scientist has published an open-source extension for Google's Chrome browser that automatically detects and blocks the application's notoriously heavy CPU usage.

Whether this is a result of bugs, websites overloaded with data, or badly-written code, the Chrome browser has gained a reputation for consuming a vast amount of processing power, often without explanation.

The Chrome Reaper, howeve, is a browser extension that terminates browser processes when they use too much memory and CPUutilisation meets or exceed a certain threshold for a specified length of time. These may include web pages that are extremely bloated or slow, as well as cryptocurrency mining scripts.

David Flater, a computer scientist with the US government's National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), has published details on the Chrome Reaper via Github, where users can download the extension or offer feedback.

Users can set this threshold to lie between 10% and 90% with 10% increments, and the time set to values between three and 30 seconds. The reason for adding such user-customised variation is because many cryptominers are designed to limit CPU utlisation well below 90% in order to avoid detection.

When the Chrome Reaper terminates a web page or an extension suddenly dies, users will receive a push notification informing them what's happened. The extension will show itself as active with a small icon in the address bar, otherwise, displaying total CPU usage.

The extension also features whitelisting functionality so that known browser functions or websites that do exceed the threshold won't be disrupted. Entire sites can be whitelisted, moreover, as this functionality exempts the hostname as opposed to specific URLs.

Chrome is renowned for its functionality and slick user interface (UI) but has developed a reputation for leaning far too heavily on processing power. This browser extension, Flater hopes, can allay frustration many often feel while using Google's flagship browser.

Featured Resources

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Leading the data race

The trends driving the future of data science

Download now

How to create 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Meet the technology capable of delivering the personalisation your customers crave

Download now

How to achieve daily SAP releases

Accelerate the pace of SAP change to support your digital strategy

Download now

Most Popular

Windows XP source code allegedly leaked online
Microsoft Windows

Windows XP source code allegedly leaked online

25 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020