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Google publishes Chrome patch details

Carpet-bombing fix looks threadbare

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Google has belatedly released details of a security update to its newly released Chrome browser, days after it actually pushed out the patch.

The update was published on Friday and users of Chrome were automatically updated, but details of the vulnerabilities fixed and performance tweaks only emerged on Monday, via a mailing list posting and a new Google Chrome blog.

Mark Larson, a Google Chrome program manager, writes that Google Chrome Beta version 0.2.149.29 addresses two critical vulnerabilities, a small number of lesser flaws and a variety of performance tweaks.

The first of the two critical bug fixes addresses a buffer overflow bug in handling long filenames, while the second deals with a vulnerability in handling link targets. Both the flaws create a means for hackers to inject hostile code into vulnerable systems, hence their critical rating. The release also fixes a lesser browser crashing bug involved in parsing URLs ending with ":%".

Google has also responded to its exposure to the infamous Safari carpet-bombing flaw by ensuring that desktop is not the default directory for downloads. "This mitigates the risk of malicious cluttering of the desktop with unwanted downloads, which can lead to executing unwanted files," it explains.

Hmm. This is, at best, only a partial workaround, and Google would do far better to address the underlying flaw.

The update also includes a number of performance and stability tweaks including a JavaScript problem involving Facebook, flaws in search suggestions on various sites, and a performance issue involving the Safe Browsing mode.

More details on the update can be found in a posting on the Google Chrome blog here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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