Software & Apps

Google Chrome browser patches 1st zero-day of 2024

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On Tuesday, January 16, the Google Chrome browser was updated to version 120.0.6099.234 to address a zero-day vulnerability that has been actively exploited in the wild. This is the first such vulnerability this year.

Google says that it “is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2024-0519 exists in the wild.” This means that users must install patches urgently. This particular vulnerability exists in Chromium’s V8 engine.

Whenever Chrome gets a security update, other browsers based on the Chromium open-source Web browser project generally require an update, too. Notable browsers built upon the Chromium codebase include Microsoft Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, and Opera GX.

Microsoft Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi browsers received updates on Wednesday, January 17. Opera released updates for its browsers on Thursday, January 18.

How to update Chromium-based desktop browsers

Mac users can update their Chrome, Edge, Brave, or Opera browsers by clicking on the application menu (e.g. “Chrome” or “Microsoft Edge,” next to the Apple logo menu), and then clicking the first item in that menu (e.g. “About Google Chrome” or “About Microsoft Edge”). The browser will check for updates, and if an update is available, it will prompt you to restart the app to complete the update.

Vivaldi for macOS has a slightly different update procedure. After clicking on the Vivaldi menu (next to the Apple menu), click on “Check for Updates…” to ensure you have the latest version installed.

Windows users can update their browsers by following the steps provided by each browser maker: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera.

How to update Chromium-based mobile browsers

Android users should check the Google Play Store app for the latest versions of their browsers and other apps.

Mobile browsers on iOS and iPadOS use Safari’s WebKit engine, rather than Chromium’s Blink and V8 engines. Therefore, this particular vulnerability does not affect the iOS or iPadOS versions of any Web browsers. If you would like to update your iPhone and iPad browsers anyway, you can do so via the App Store. (Here’s how to manually check for and install updates.)

Starting with iOS 17.4 (which is in beta, as of January 25), browser makers may opt into using their own engines—but only in the EU’s version of the App Store, for compliance with the Digital Markets Act. Eventually, Apple may allow browser developers to use their own rendering engines in other regions of the world; only time will tell. But now that the EU has that option, lawmakers will pressure Apple to grant the same flexibility to their countries.

Non-browser apps need updates, too

As we’ve noted in the past, many non-browser apps, including Electron apps, also rely on the Chromium browser codebase for rendering HTML content. These include the desktop versions of apps like 1Password, Discord, Dropbox, Figma, GitHub, Microsoft Teams, Signal, Skype, Slack, Trello, Twitch, WhatsApp, WordPress, and Zoom.

Notably, the Electron framework does not get updated in tandem with Chromium, so some Electron-based apps may remain vulnerable for months. For this and other reasons, it’s important to keep all your other apps updated as well.

To update Mac App Store apps, open the App Store, then click Updates, and click on Update All. Other apps usually have their own separate in-app or separate update mechanisms. In some cases, you may need to update an app manually by downloading a new version from the developer’s site.

Chromium vulnerabilities threaten Electron app security

How can I learn more?

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About Joshua Long

Joshua Long (@theJoshMeister), Intego's Chief Security Analyst, is a renowned security researcher, writer, and public speaker. Josh has a master's degree in IT concentrating in Internet Security and has taken doctorate-level coursework in Information Security. Apple has publicly acknowledged Josh for discovering an Apple ID authentication vulnerability. Josh has conducted cybersecurity research for more than 25 years, which has often been featured by major news outlets worldwide. Look for more of Josh's articles at security.thejoshmeister.com and follow him on Twitter/X, LinkedIn, and Mastodon. View all posts by Joshua Long →