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steven36

Google’s Safe Browsing feature breaks PDFs in Chrome 80 [Fix]

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steven36

There have been a lot of reports from Chrome users on the official help forum and social media sites that PDFs are no longer loaded by Chrome PDF Viewer plugin in Chrome 80 stable version on Windows and Mac, the PDFs appear gray or blank or don’t render completely. The irony is the latest Chrome update 80.0. 3987.122 which has fixed serious vulnerabilities is also affected by this issue. The issue doesn’t exist in Chrome Beta and Canary versions.

 

138224633_chrome-80-fix-pdf-grey-or-blank-1024x535.jpg

 

A thread on Chrome Reddit confirms the “Real-time Phishing protection” feature recently introduced for Chome behind the setting “Make searches and browsing better” by sending URLs of pages user visits to Google is causing the issue when opted-in to and doesn’t occur when unchecked.

 

After investigating, the Chromium team found out the root cause and is disabling the full URL check for PDF files.

When opening a PDF link, the final check is triggered from the renderer with type kPluginResource[2]. When the feature is enabled, the safe_browsing_url_checker object of the final check is not successfully destructed. The ownership of this object is transferred in [1]. From the comment in [3], it will be deleted when a pipe connection error happens. From the log I added, the pipe connection error happens immediately, but the error doesn’t happen if the feature is enabled.

 

We’ve been able to reproduce the issue as per steps posted by Chromium employe in the bug report.

 

1. Run Chrome 80.0.3987.122 with the below command-line switch

--enable-features=SafeBrowsingRealTimeUrlLookupEnabled

2. Sign in to Chrome and visit this PDF URL in the address bar to notice Chrome displaying grey or black screen for PDF without loading PDF contents.

Until the fix is served to you via server, if you’re facing the issue, do the following.

1. Click on Chrome menu, select Settings

2. You and Google > Sync and Google Services, uncheck “Make searches and browsing better”.

 

When the issue is fixed, re-enable it again to stay protected against phishing sites in real-time.

 

Are you affected?

 

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steven36

Google Fixes the PDFs Issue in Chrome 80

 

UPDATE February 27, 2020: Google has rolled back the feature that caused the issue, you need to restart Chrome to apply the fix.

 

138330340_2020-02-27_3-17-411.jpg

 

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