Zero-day vulnerabilities are hard to anticipate and can often be exploited for weeks or months until developers finally realize they exist. The latest zero-day security flaw was discovered in the rollout of Google Chrome’s latest edition. What dangers were users exposed to?
Zero-day vulnerabilities are flaws or loopholes in a system that were overlooked by developers before the software was rolled out. “Zero-day” refers to the number of days that developers have been aware of the security issue. Zero-day vulnerabilities will not have an immediate fix because developers first need to be made aware of the bug and then spend time patching it.
A zero-day exploit is code that hackers will utilize after news of the zero-day vulnerability spreads around the web. By exploiting the security flaw, hackers can install back doors into a system, further injecting malware or stealing sensitive data.
Unfortunately, Google Chrome was plagued with several zero-day vulnerabilities for one of its first updates of 2022. Chrome had similar issues in 2021, with one zero-day update requiring three emergency patches to fix the holes.
This time around, in February of 2022, Google announced via its blog that a high-level zero-day vulnerability was actively being exploited. Six other high-level threats were discovered and left every operating system with that version of Chrome vulnerable.
This event marks the 26th time in 2022 that Google Chrome was successfully attacked via a memory issue exploit. The majority of the flaws were UAF flaws, or Use-After-Free. UAF vulnerabilities involve improper dynamic memory allocation while a program is running. Google’s notes on the vulnerabilities were sparse, only revealing the software or program that was exploited by a UAF flaw:
If you’re still resolute in using Google Chrome as your primary browser, you need to keep it updated at all times. Luckily, the process is incredibly simple.
Preventing your network from being the victim of a zero-day vulnerability seems to be a paradoxical task. How can you defend yourself from an attack that you know nothing about? While predicting the type of cyberattack is nigh impossible, you can help mitigate and control the damage from a zero-day exploit in several ways.
Ultimately, there’s not much you can do in the way of preventing zero-day vulnerabilities. However, staying on top of your cybersecurity will most certainly help reduce the damages should you be a victim of an exploit.
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