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Security & privacy

Update Chrome now! New version protects you from zero-day exploit

If you use Google’s Chrome internet browser, it’s a really good idea to keep it updated to the latest version. Over the last few months, the company has released several updates to protect users from unwanted intruders.

Many of the flaws discovered and subsequently patched have been minor. But on occasion, a serious flaw does come to light. As hackers increase their technology and attacking methods, these software breaches pose a big threat to your computer and data.

Since the beginning of the year, seven flaws were discovered to be actively used by hackers. Google has found an eighth and released a patch for the browser late last week.

Here’s the backstory

The latest patch to the browser brings it up to version 91.0.4472.164 for Windows, Mac and Linux. The update fixes eight vulnerabilities, of which one has been labeled as a zero-day exploit. Given the designated code of CVE-2021-30563, the flaw is a Type Confusion in V8, reported by an anonymous user.

In a security blog, Google acknowledged that the bug had been used by hackers already, which places a further urgency on updating your browser.

“We would also like to thank all security researchers that worked with us during the development cycle to prevent security bugs from ever reaching the stable channel. Google is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2021-30563 exists in the wild,” it explained.

V8 is the open-source WebAssembly and JavaScript engine used by Google. When the software’s loophole is exploited, hackers use it to initiate malicious code. This can range from spreading malware to taking over your computer.

To further protect users from zero-day exploits, Google noted in the release post that certain details about the flaws would be kept a secret. It will only explain the inner workings of the flaws until most users update their browsers.

“Access to bug details and links may be kept restricted until a majority of users are updated with a fix. We will also retain restrictions if the bug exists in a third-party library that other projects similarly depend on, but haven’t yet fixed,” Google said.

How to update Google Chrome

Keeping your software update to the latest version is the first line of defense. Here’s how to update Chrome:

Tap the menu in the upper right corner (three dots), hover your cursor over Help, and select About Google Chrome. You will see which build you currently have, and you’ll have the option to update by clicking Update Google Chrome. If the option isn’t there, you’re either using the latest version, or it hasn’t been rolled out to your machine yet.

If the latest version is available, Chrome should automatically start the update process. You’ll need to restart your browser for the patch to be applied.

Keep reading

10 best Chrome extensions to use with Google Drive

Chrome vs. Edge: Which is the better browser to use on a PC?

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