The number of malicious attacks has significantly increased during the past few years. Attackers always come up with new techniques to take advantage of the security vulnerabilities in popular services. Google has recently issued an advisory for Chrome users that encourages them to update their browsers.
The advisory was issued after the search giant discovered a high priority security vulnerability in the browser. The vulnerability allows the attackers to execute code from remote locations. They can bypass security restrictions, install malicious programs an get access to sensitive information.
Furthermore, it affects the users of all popular platforms including Linux, Windows, and MacOS. Keeping in mind the nature of sensitive information, businesses and government organizations are at higher risk of attacks. According to the Center for Internet Security, the bug only affects those who open a malicious website on an unpatched version of Chrome.
More specifically, the hackers can use the browser to run the code in order to install malicious programs, create new admin accounts, or view, modify, or delete the data on your system. The security advisory by the Center for Internet Security reads:
This vulnerability is a use-after-free vulnerability in Blink that can be exploited if a user visits, or is redirected to, a specially crafted web page. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the browser, obtain sensitive information, bypass security restrictions and perform unauthorized actions, or cause denial-of-service conditions.
The security flaw was first spotted by two researchers Zhe Jin and Luyao Liu who worked at Chengdu Security Response Centre, Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. Google awarded $5,500 both of them for finding memory corruption bug in Chrome’s Blink engine.
Google has released an emergency update to patch the security vulnerability. The update should be installed automatically on your desktop systems. For those who are not sure about their browser version, go to the main menu and click Help > About Chrome. You should be running Chrome 76.0.3809.132.
Moreover, it is highly recommended that you turn on automatic updates to avoid such risks in future. Always avoid clicking on malicious links that you receive in emails from untrusted sources.