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Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome

64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has dropped 50 patches for its flagship Chrome browser plugging holes and handed $30,000 to a lone bug hunter who reported a dangerous sandbox-busting attack.

A clever chained combo of multiple flaws, reported to Google and patched, allowed attackers to crawl out of Chrome's security sandbox and execute code remotely. It earned the security researcher operating under the alias lokihardt@asrt the rare "special reward" bounty.

That attack requiring flaws to be fixed in Google's V8 JavaScript engine, inter-process comms, sync feature and extensions.

The biblical patch run for Chrome version 37 - now on 64 bit - was out of the ordinary for Mountain View, which normally deposits smaller packages on sysadmin lawns.

It includes a trio of separately-reported nasty use-after-free bugs in scalable vector graphics, document object model, and bindings. Credit to cloudfuzzer.

Lokihart's hat was a particular shade of alabaster, given the value his uncommon attack could have attracted on black hat crime forums.

The update made Chrome a little shinier in other ways: it's now on 64-bit machines for those users who followed links such as this and didn't run Mac, and was 15 percent faster at loading cat videos thanks to the new V9 codec.

The Chocolate Factory says it's also much less likely to crash and die when web browsing, compared to the 32-bit version; made images more pretty through Windows' DirectWrite; and gained more security too.

"Finally, on 64-bit, our defense in depth security mitigations such as Partition Alloc are able to far more effectively defend against vulnerabilities that rely on controlling the memory layout of objects. Chrome engineer and "Embiggener of Bits" Will Harris wrote in a post.

It's also using its own internal version of Adobe Flash and has sent Silverlight to the bin, much to the dismay of exploit kit writers. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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