Security Advisory - Chrome patches ANOTHER zero-day vulnerability
Updated: Dec 28, 2022
Google has released version 103.0.5060.114 for Chrome, now available in the Stable Desktop channel worldwide. The main goal of this new version is to patch CVE-2022-2294.
CVE-2022-2294 is a high severity heap-based buffer overflow weakness in the Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) component which is being exploited in the wild. This is the fourth Chrome zero-day to be patched in 2022.
Heap buffer overflow
Publicly disclosed computer security flaws are listed in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database. Its goal is to make it easier to share data across separate vulnerability capabilities (tools, databases, and services).
A buffer overflow is a type of software vulnerability that exists when an area of memory within a software application reaches its address boundary and writes into an adjacent memory region. In software exploit code, two common areas that are targeted for overflows are the stack and the heap.
The heap is an area of memory made available use by the program. The program can request blocks of memory for its use within the heap. In order to allocate a block of some size, the program makes an explicit request by calling the heap allocation operation.
WebRTC on Chrome is the first true in-browser solution to real-time communications (RTC). It supports video, voice, and generic data to be sent between peers, allowing developers to build powerful voice- and video-communication solutions. The technology is available on all modern browsers as well as on native clients for all major platforms.
A WebRTC application will usually go through a common application flow. Access the media devices, open peer connections, discover peers, and start streaming. Since Google does not disclose details about the vulnerability until everyone has had ample opportunity to install the fix it is unclear in what stage the vulnerability exists.
How to protect yourself
If you’re a Chrome user on Windows or Mac, you should update as soon as possible.
The easiest way to update Chrome is to allow it to update automatically, which basically uses the same method as outlined below but does not require your attention. But you can end up lagging behind if you never close the browser or if something goes wrong, such as an extension stopping you from updating the browser.
So, it doesn’t hurt to check now and then. And now would be a good time, given the severity of the vulnerability. My preferred method is to have Chrome open the page chrome://settings/help which you can also find by clicking Settings > About Chrome.
If there is an update available, Chrome will notify you and start downloading it. Then all you have to do is relaunch the browser in order for the update to complete.
After the update the version should be 103.0.5060.114 or later.
Since WebRTC is a Chromium component, users of other Chromium based browsers may see a similar update.
Stay safe, everyone!