Stop What You’re Doing and Update Your Chrome Browser

March 21, 2019

A zero-day vulnerability in Google Chrome, which allows attackers to take complete control of a victim’s computer, has been discovered and users are strongly advised to update their browser immediately. 

Zero-Day Vulnerability

Google Chrome’s zero-day vulnerability, which is used in conjunction with a Windows 7 zero-day flaw, was discovered by Clement Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group on February 27th. 

To rectify this issue, Google released an update for Windows, Mac and Linux on March 1st, which was later pushed through Chrome auto-update. Google has described the vulnerability as a memory management error in Google Chrome’s FileReader, which allows web applications to read the contents of files stored on the user’s computer. 

The Windows 7 zero-day flaw, CVE-2019-0808, is a local privilege escalation in the Windows win32k.sys kernel drive, which can be used as a security sandbox escape.

Attackers were combining both the Chrome and Windows vulnerabilities to drop malicious code onto vulnerable systems. Alongside the ability to bypass security sandboxes, the vulnerability in Windows 7 could have been used to elevate privileges –  allowing the attacker to install programmes; view, change or delete data; and create new accounts with full user rights.

It has been recommended that users consider upgrading their systems to Windows 10, if they haven’t already done so, and to apply Windows patches from Microsoft as and when they are released. 

The vulnerability, CVE-2019-5786, is a security flaw which was included in the Chrome 72.0.3626.121 version patch released earlier this month. For those using an older version of Google Chrome your computer could be exploited without your knowledge, it is vital your browser is updated to the latest version to prevent security issues. Please be aware that the update will only come into action once the browser has been restarted.

Sam Taylor, Head of Security Operations at Secrutiny, said: “The patches have been released so it is important to patch as soon as possible. Without patching, the Google Chrome vulnerability could allow attackers to access your systems remotely. And once they have exploited this vulnerability they can combine that with the Window’s privilege escalation vulnerability, to get both administrator access on your device and backdoor access, giving them the freedom to do what they want.  At Secrutiny we update our systems as soon as new patches have been released, so we are not affected.”

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