At the end of 2021, an estimated 3.2 billion people used Google Chrome as their default internet browser. That’s a scary amount of opportunities for hackers to breach systems and steal valuable information. Thankfully, the tech giant is quickly releasing updates, patching several zero-day flaws late last month.
But fixing one problem is like whack-a-mole, as hackers search for other vulnerabilities when exploited loopholes close. So Google has an entire department, called the Threat Analysis Group, dedicated to making the browser safe. But it can’t do it alone and often patches flaws discovered by third-party researchers.
That is what happened with the latest Chrome patch. Read on to get the latest critical update that fixes 27 issues.
Here’s the backstory
Although none of the current flaws are zero-day exploits, it doesn’t diminish the importance of the update. Google rated seven of the vulnerabilities as High, while the remaining 20 got a severity rating of Medium.
A few notable Use after free (UAF) flaws exist in Chrome’s address bar, safe browsing mode and the tabs strip. UAF flaws deal with the way a program manages memory. These flaws can cause programs to crash or be exploited by cybercriminals to execute malicious code.
Google is generally vague on exploits and didn’t reveal much information here. But if you want to read up on specific flaws that this update corrects, head to this release’s blog post.
What to do about it
The wise thing to do is update Chrome as soon as possible. Updating regularly ensures you are always on the latest version and have the most current patches.
For Windows-based computers, the latest update brings Chrome to version 104.0.5112.81, while the Apple Mac and Linux version is 104.0.5112.79. While the version numbers differ, the update’s content is the same.
Updating Chrome is easy. Here’s how:
- Open your Chrome browser.
- Tap or click the three vertical dots to the right of your profile icon in the upper right corner.
- From the drop-down menu, hover over Help and select About Google Chrome.
This will automatically initiate the updating process, and if a new version is available, it will start downloading. Once installed, you might need to relaunch Chrome for the update to take effect.
The update is rolling out over the next few days, so if you don’t see it immediately, keep checking.