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Update your Google Chrome browser now: New exploit could leave you open to hacks

If you’re a Google Chrome user, you should update the browser immediately. Google released a software update to the browser late yesterday evening that patches two zero-day vulnerabilities to the browser that could potentially allow the browser to be hijacked by hackers.

One of the vulnerabilities affects Chrome’s audio component (CVE-2019-13720) while the other resides in the PDFium (CVE-2019-13721) library.

Hackers can corrupt or modify the data in Chrome’s memory using the exploit, which will eventually give them access to the computer as a whole.

One of the exploits, CVE-2019-13720 has been discovered in the wild by researchers at Kaspersky.

Google says that the update to the browser will be rolling out to users automatically over the coming days and weeks.

That said, if you’re a Chrome user it would be more prudent for you to go ahead and do that update manually right now instead.

To make it happen you’ll want to launch Chrome on your computer and then click on “Chrome” in the menu bar followed by “About Chrome.” That will launch the Settings menu. From there,  click “About Chrome” at the bottom of the menu on the left. That will likely trigger an automatic update if yours hasn’t already happened. If it doesn’t, you’ll see a button to manually update the browser as well.

Once you update the browser you should be good to go without fear of the security threat becoming an issue. Last month many Mac users ran into issues with Google Chrome when it seemed to send computers into an endless reboot cycle.

An investigation by Mac enterprise and IT blog Mr. Macintosh found that the issue was actually a bug that deletes the symlink at the/var path on the Mac it’s running on, which essentially deletes a key in the MacOS system file.

That issue only impacted Macs where the System Integrity Protection (SIP) had been disabled. The issue particularly impacted older Macs that were made before SIP was introduced with OS X El Capitan in 2015.

All this comes as Google is gearing up to launch some major updates to Chrome, including one update that will change how you manage tabs using the browser. That update is expected to roll out later this year.

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Emily Price
Emily is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Her book "Productivity Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Accomplish More at…
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