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Experts Detail Chromium Browser Security Flaw Putting Confidential Data at Risk

Experts Detail Chromium Browser Security Flaw Putting Confidential Data at Risk

Jan 12, 2023 Browser Security / Data Safety
Details have emerged about a now-patched vulnerability in Google Chrome and Chromium-based browsers that, if successfully exploited, could have made it possible to siphon files containing confidential data. "The issue arose from the way the browser interacted with  symlinks  when processing files and directories," Imperva researcher Ron Masas  said . "Specifically, the browser did not properly check if the symlink was pointing to a location that was not intended to be accessible, which allowed for the theft of sensitive files." Google characterized the medium-severity issue (CVE-2022-3656) as a case of insufficient data validation in File System,  releasing   fixes  for it in versions 107 and 108 released in October and November 2022. Dubbed SymStealer, the vulnerability, at its core, relates to a type of weakness known as symbolic link (aka symlink) following, which  occurs  when an attacker abuses the feature to bypass the file system restrictions of a progra
Google Rolls Out New Chrome Browser Update to Patch Yet Another Zero-Day Vulnerability

Google Rolls Out New Chrome Browser Update to Patch Yet Another Zero-Day Vulnerability

Dec 03, 2022 Threat Detection / Zero Day
Search giant Google on Friday released an out-of-band security update to fix a new actively exploited zero-day flaw in its Chrome web browser. The high-severity flaw, tracked as  CVE-2022-4262 , concerns a type confusion bug in the V8 JavaScript engine. Clement Lecigne of Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has been credited with reporting the issue on November 29, 2022. Type confusion vulnerabilities could be weaponized by threat actors to perform out-of-bounds memory access, or lead to a crash and arbitrary code execution. According to the NIST's National Vulnerability Database, the flaw  permits  a "remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page." Google acknowledged active exploitation of the vulnerability but stopped short of sharing additional specifics to prevent further abuse. CVE-2022-4262 is the fourth actively exploited type confusion flaw in Chrome that Google has addressed since the start of the year. It's also
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Google Accuses Spanish Spyware Vendor of Exploiting Chrome, Firefox, & Windows Zero-Days

Google Accuses Spanish Spyware Vendor of Exploiting Chrome, Firefox, & Windows Zero-Days

Dec 01, 2022 Threat Detection / Zero Day
A Barcelona-based surveillanceware vendor named Variston IT is said to have surreptitiously planted spyware on targeted devices by exploiting several zero-day flaws in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Windows, some of which date back to December 2018. "Their Heliconia framework exploits n-day vulnerabilities in Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Defender, and provides all the tools necessary to deploy a payload to a target device," Google Threat Analysis Group (TAG) researchers Clement Lecigne and Benoit Sevens  said  in a write-up. Variston, which has a  bare-bones website , claims to "offer tailor made Information Security Solutions to our customers," "design custom security patches for any kind of proprietary system," and support the "the discovery of digital information by [law enforcement agencies]," among other services. The vulnerabilities, which have been patched by Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla in 2021 and early 2022, are believed to
This Malware Installs Malicious Browser Extensions to Steal Users' Passwords and Cryptos

This Malware Installs Malicious Browser Extensions to Steal Users' Passwords and Cryptos

Nov 22, 2022
A malicious extension for Chromium-based web browsers has been observed to be distributed via a long-standing Windows information stealer called ViperSoftX . Czech-based cybersecurity company dubbed the rogue browser add-on VenomSoftX owing to its standalone features that enable it to access website visits, steal credentials and clipboard data, and even swap cryptocurrency addresses via an adversary-in-the-middle (AiTM) attack. ViperSoftX, which first  came to light  in February 2020, was characterized by  Fortinet  as a JavaScript-based remote access trojan and cryptocurrency stealer. The malware's use of a browser extension to advance its information-gathering goals was documented by Sophos threat analyst  Colin Cowie  earlier this year. "This multi-stage stealer exhibits interesting hiding capabilities, concealed as small PowerShell scripts on a single line in the middle of otherwise innocent-looking large log files, among others," Avast researcher Jan Rubín  said
Google Chrome Bug Lets Sites Silently Overwrite System Clipboard Content

Google Chrome Bug Lets Sites Silently Overwrite System Clipboard Content

Sep 02, 2022
A "major" security issue in the Google Chrome web browser, as well as Chromium-based alternatives, could allow malicious web pages to automatically overwrite clipboard content without requiring any user consent or interaction by simply visiting them. The clipboard poisoning attack is said to have been accidentally introduced in Chrome version 104, according to developer Jeff Johnson. While the problem exists in Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox as well, what makes the issue severe in Chrome is that the requirement for a user gesture to copy content to the clipboard is currently broken. User gestures include selecting a piece of text and pressing Control+C (or ⌘-C for macOS) or selecting "Copy" from the context menu. "Therefore, a gesture as innocent as clicking on a link or pressing the arrow key to scroll down the page gives the website permission to overwrite your system clipboard," Johnson  noted . The ability to substitute clipboard data poses se
Experts Find Malicious Cookie Stuffing Chrome Extensions Used by 1.4 Million Users

Experts Find Malicious Cookie Stuffing Chrome Extensions Used by 1.4 Million Users

Aug 31, 2022
Five imposter extensions for the Google Chrome web browser masquerading as Netflix viewers and others have been found to track users' browsing activity and profit off retail affiliate programs. "The extensions offer various functions such as enabling users to watch Netflix shows together, website coupons, and taking screenshots of a website," McAfee researchers Oliver Devane and Vallabh Chole  said . "The latter borrows several phrases from another popular extension called GoFullPage." The browser add-ons in question – available via the Chrome Web Store and downloaded 1.4 million times – are as follows - Netflix Party (mmnbenehknklpbendgmgngeaignppnbe) - 800,000 downloads Netflix Party (flijfnhifgdcbhglkneplegafminjnhn) - 300,000 downloads Full Page Screenshot Capture – Screenshotting (pojgkmkfincpdkdgjepkmdekcahmckjp) - 200,000 downloads AutoBuy Flash Sales (gbnahglfafmhaehbdmjedfhdmimjcbed) - 20,000 downloads The extensions are designed to load a pi
New Google Chrome Zero-Day Vulnerability Being Exploited in the Wild

New Google Chrome Zero-Day Vulnerability Being Exploited in the Wild

Aug 17, 2022
Google on Tuesday rolled out patches for Chrome browser for desktops to contain an actively exploited high-severity zero-day flaw in the wild. Tracked as  CVE-2022-2856 , the issue has been described as a case of insufficient validation of untrusted input in  Intents . Security researchers Ashley Shen and Christian Resell of Google Threat Analysis Group have been credited with reporting the flaw on July 19, 2022. As is typically the case, the tech giant has refrained from sharing additional specifics about the shortcoming until a majority of the users are updated. "Google is aware that an exploit for CVE-2022-2856 exists in the wild," it  acknowledged  in a terse statement. The latest update further addresses 10 other security flaws, most of which relate to use-after-free bugs in various components such as FedCM, SwiftShader, ANGLE, and Blink, among others. Also fixed is a heap buffer overflow vulnerability in Downloads. The development marks the fifth zero-day vulnerab
Malicious Browser Extensions Targeted Over a Million Users So Far This Year

Malicious Browser Extensions Targeted Over a Million Users So Far This Year

Aug 17, 2022
More than 1.31 million users attempted to install malicious or unwanted web browser extensions at least once, new findings from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky show. "From January 2020 to June 2022, more than 4.3 million unique users were attacked by adware hiding in browser extensions, which is approximately 70% of all users affected by malicious and unwanted add-ons," the company  said . As many as 1,311,557 users fall under this category in the first half of 2022, per Kaspersky's telemetry data. In comparison, the number of such users peaked in 2020 at 3,660,236, followed by 1,823,263 unique users in 2021. The most prevalent threat is a family of adware called WebSearch, which masquerade as PDF viewers and other utilities, and comes with capabilities to collect and analyze search queries and redirect users to affiliate links. WebSearch is also notable for modifying the browser's start page, which contains a search engine and a number of links to third-party sour
Candiru Spyware Caught Exploiting Google Chrome Zero-Day to Target Journalists

Candiru Spyware Caught Exploiting Google Chrome Zero-Day to Target Journalists

Jul 22, 2022
The actively exploited but now-fixed Google Chrome zero-day flaw that came to light at the start of this month was weaponized by an Israeli spyware company and used in attacks targeting journalists in the Middle East. Czech cybersecurity firm Avast linked the exploitation to  Candiru  (aka Saito Tech), which has a history of  leveraging previously unknown flaws  to deploy a Windows malware dubbed DevilsTongue , a modular implant with  Pegasus -like capabilities. Candiru, along with NSO Group, Computer Security Initiative Consultancy PTE. LTD., and Positive Technologies, were  added to the entity list  by the U.S. Commerce Department in November 2021 for engaging in "malicious cyber activities." "Specifically, a large portion of the attacks took place in Lebanon, where journalists were among the targeted parties," security researcher Jan Vojtěšek, who reported the discovery of the flaw,  said  in a write-up. "We believe the attacks were highly targeted."
Update Google Chrome Browser to Patch New Zero-Day Exploit Detected in the Wild

Update Google Chrome Browser to Patch New Zero-Day Exploit Detected in the Wild

Jul 05, 2022
Google on Monday shipped security updates to address a high-severity zero-day vulnerability in its Chrome web browser that it said is being exploited in the wild. The shortcoming, tracked as  CVE-2022-2294 , relates to a heap overflow flaw in the  WebRTC  component that provides real-time audio and video communication capabilities in browsers without the need to install plugins or download native apps. Heap buffer overflows, also referred to as heap overrun or heap smashing, occur when data is overwritten in the  heap area of the memory , leading to arbitrary code execution or a denial-of-service (DoS) condition. "Heap-based overflows can be used to overwrite function pointers that may be living in memory, pointing it to the attacker's code," MITRE  explains . "When the consequence is arbitrary code execution, this can often be used to subvert any other security service." Credited with reporting the flaw on July 1, 2022, is Jan Vojtesek from the Avast Thre
New Emotet Variant Stealing Users' Credit Card Information from Google Chrome

New Emotet Variant Stealing Users' Credit Card Information from Google Chrome

Jun 09, 2022
Image Source: Toptal The notorious Emotet malware has turned to deploy a new module designed to siphon credit card information stored in the Chrome web browser. The credit card stealer, which exclusively singles out Chrome, has the ability to exfiltrate the collected information to different remote command-and-control (C2) servers, according to enterprise security company  Proofpoint , which observed the component on June 6. The development comes amid a  spike  in  Emotet   activity  since it was resurrected late last year following a 10-month-long hiatus in the wake of a law enforcement operation that  took down its attack infrastructure  in January 2021. Emotet, attributed to a threat actor known as TA542 (aka Mummy Spider or Gold Crestwood), is an advanced, self-propagating and modular trojan that's delivered via email campaigns and is used as a distributor for other payloads such as ransomware. As of April 2022, Emotet is still the most popular malware with a global impac
Researchers Takeover Unpatched 3rd-Party Antivirus Sandboxes via VirusTotal

Researchers Takeover Unpatched 3rd-Party Antivirus Sandboxes via VirusTotal

Apr 25, 2022
Security researchers have disclosed a security issue that could have allowed attackers to weaponize the VirusTotal platform as a conduit to achieve remote code execution (RCE) on unpatched third-party sandboxing machines employed antivirus engines. The flaw, now patched, made it possible to "execute commands remotely within [through] VirusTotal platform and gain access to its various scans capabilities," Cysource researchers Shai Alfasi and Marlon Fabiano da Silva said in a report exclusively shared with The Hacker News. VirusTotal , part of Google's Chronicle security subsidiary, is a malware-scanning service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs and checks for viruses using more than 70 third-party antivirus products. The attack method involved uploading a DjVu file via the platform's web user interface that when passed to multiple third-party malware scanning engines could trigger an exploit for a high-severity remote code execution flaw in ExifTool , an op
'Purple Fox' Hackers Spotted Using New Variant of FatalRAT in Recent Malware Attacks

'Purple Fox' Hackers Spotted Using New Variant of FatalRAT in Recent Malware Attacks

Mar 28, 2022
The operators of the  Purple Fox malware  have retooled their malware arsenal with a new variant of a remote access trojan called FatalRAT, while also simultaneously upgrading their evasion mechanisms to bypass security software. "Users' machines are targeted via trojanized software packages masquerading as legitimate application installers," Trend Micro researchers  said  in a report published on March 25, 2022. "The installers are actively distributed online to trick users and increase the overall botnet infrastructure." The findings follow  prior research  from Minerva Labs that shed light on a similar modus operandi of leveraging fraudulent Telegram applications to distribute the backdoor. Other disguised software installers include WhatsApp, Adobe Flash Player, and Google Chrome. These packages act as a first-stage loader, triggering an infection sequence that leads to the deployment of a second-stage payload from a remote server and culminating in the
North Korean Hackers Exploited Chrome Zero-Day to Target Fintech, IT, and Media Firms

North Korean Hackers Exploited Chrome Zero-Day to Target Fintech, IT, and Media Firms

Mar 25, 2022
Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) on Thursday disclosed that it acted to mitigate threats from two distinct government-backed attacker groups based in North Korea that exploited a recently-uncovered remote code execution flaw in the Chrome web browser. The campaigns, once again "reflective of the regime's immediate concerns and priorities," are said to have targeted U.S. based organizations spanning news media, IT, cryptocurrency, and fintech industries, with one set of the activities sharing direct infrastructure overlaps with previous attacks  aimed at security researchers  last year. The shortcoming in question is  CVE-2022-0609 , a use-after-free vulnerability in the browser's Animation component that Google addressed as part of updates (version 98.0.4758.102) issued on February 14, 2022. It's also the first zero-day flaw patched by the tech giant since the start of 2022. "The earliest evidence we have of this exploit kit being actively deploy
New Chrome 0-Day Bug Under Active Attack – Update Your Browser ASAP!

New Chrome 0-Day Bug Under Active Attack – Update Your Browser ASAP!

Feb 15, 2022
Google on Monday rolled out fixes for eight security issues in the Chrome web browser, including a high-severity vulnerability that's being actively exploited in real-world attacks, marking the first zero-day patched by the internet giant in 2022. The shortcoming, tracked  CVE-2022-0609 , is described as a  use-after-free  vulnerability in the Animation component that, if successfully exploited, could lead to corruption of valid data and the execution of arbitrary code on affected systems. "Google is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2022-0609 exists in the wild," the company  said  in a characteristically brief statement acknowledging active exploitation of the flaw. Credited with discovering and reporting the flaw are Adam Weidemann and Clément Lecigne of Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG). Also addressed by Google four other use-after-free flaws impacting File Manager, Webstore API,  ANGLE , and GPU, a heap buffer overflow bug in Tab Groups, an inte
Update Google Chrome to Patch New Zero-Day Exploit Detected in the Wild

Update Google Chrome to Patch New Zero-Day Exploit Detected in the Wild

Dec 14, 2021
Google has rolled out fixes for five security vulnerabilities in its Chrome web browser, including one which it says is being exploited in the wild, making it the  17th such weakness  to be disclosed since the start of the year. Tracked as  CVE-2021-4102 , the flaw relates to a  use-after-free bug  in the V8 JavaScript and WebAssembly engine, which could have severe consequences ranging from corruption of valid data to the execution of arbitrary code. An anonymous researcher has been credited with discovering and reporting the flaw. As it stands, it's not known how the weakness is being abused in real-world attacks, but the internet giant issued a terse statement that said, "it's aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2021-4102 exists in the wild." This is done so in an attempt to ensure that a majority of users are updated with a fix and prevent further exploitation by other threat actors. CVE-2021-4102 is the second use-after-free vulnerability in V8 the comp
New Malvertising Campaigns Spreading Backdoors, Malicious Chrome Extensions

New Malvertising Campaigns Spreading Backdoors, Malicious Chrome Extensions

Dec 03, 2021
A series of malicious campaigns have been leveraging fake installers of popular apps and games such as Viber, WeChat, NoxPlayer, and Battlefield as a lure to trick users into downloading a new backdoor and an undocumented malicious Google Chrome extension with the goal of stealing credentials and data stored in the compromised systems as well as maintaining persistent remote access. Cisco Talos attributed the malware payloads to an unknown actor that goes by the alias " magnat ," noting that "these two families have been subject to constant development and improvement by their authors." The attacks are believed to have commenced in late 2018, with intermittent activity observed towards the end of 2019 and through early 2020, followed by fresh spikes since April 2021, while mainly singling out users in Canada, followed by the U.S., Australia, Italy, Spain, and Norway. A noteworthy aspect of the intrusions is the use of malvertising as a means to strike individua
Ad-Blocking Chrome Extension Caught Injecting Ads in Google Search Pages

Ad-Blocking Chrome Extension Caught Injecting Ads in Google Search Pages

Oct 15, 2021
A new deceptive ad injection campaign has been found leveraging an ad blocker extension for Google Chrome and Opera web browsers to sneakily insert ads and affiliate codes on websites, according to new research from cybersecurity firm Imperva. The findings come following the discovery of rogue domains distributing an ad injection script in late August 2021 that the researchers connected to an add-on called AllBlock. The  extension  has since been pulled from both the Chrome Web Store and Opera add-ons marketplaces. While AllBlock is designed to block ads legitimately, the JavaScript code is injected into every new tab opened on the browser. It works by identifying and sending all links in a web page — typically on search engine results pages — to a remote server, which responds back with a list of websites to replace the genuine links with, leading to a scenario where upon clicking a link, the victim is redirected to a different page. "When the user clicks on any modified li
Update Google Chrome ASAP to Patch 2 New Actively Exploited Zero-Day Flaws

Update Google Chrome ASAP to Patch 2 New Actively Exploited Zero-Day Flaws

Oct 01, 2021
Google on Thursday pushed urgent security fixes for its Chrome browser, including a pair of new security weaknesses that the company said are being exploited in the wild, making them the fourth and fifth actively zero-days plugged this month alone. The issues, designated as  CVE-2021-37975 and CVE-2021-37976 , are part of a total of four patches, and concern a  use-after-free flaw  in V8 JavaScript and WebAssembly engine as well as an information leak in core. As is usually the case, the tech giant has refrained from sharing any additional details regarding how these zero-day vulnerabilities were used in attacks so as to allow a majority of users to be updated with the patches, but noted that it's aware that "exploits for CVE-2021-37975 and CVE-2021-37976 exist in the wild." An anonymous researcher has been credited with reporting CVE-2021-37975. The discovery of CVE-2021-37976, on the other hand, involves Clément Lecigne from Google Threat Analysis Group, who was al
Urgent Chrome Update Released to Patch Actively Exploited Zero-Day Vulnerability

Urgent Chrome Update Released to Patch Actively Exploited Zero-Day Vulnerability

Sep 25, 2021
Google on Friday rolled out an emergency security patch to its Chrome web browser to address a security flaw that's known to have an exploit in the wild. Tracked as  CVE-2021-37973 , the vulnerability has been described as  use after free  in  Portals API , a web page navigation system that enables a page to show another page as an inset and "perform a seamless transition to a new state, where the formerly-inset page becomes the top-level document." Clément Lecigne of Google Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has been credited with reporting the flaw. Additional specifics pertaining to the weakness have not been disclosed in light of active exploitation and to allow a majority of the users to apply the patch, but the internet giant said it's "aware that an exploit for CVE-2021-37973 exists in the wild." The update arrives a day after Apple moved to close an actively exploited security hole in older versions of iOS and macOS ( CVE-2021-30869 ), which the TAG no
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