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Google Chrome Exposed to Zero-Day Security Exploits

French security firm Vupen claimed today that it discovered a zero-day exploit of the Google Chrome Web browser running on Windows.

Vupen used its "most sophisticated codes" yet to successfully hack Google Chrome, as described in a video posted to YouTube today. The exploit enables a user to bypass all security features, including ASLR, DEP and the sandbox, in all Windows versions.

The attack on Google Chrome "is silent (no crash after executing the payload)," according to the security company. Furthermore, the zero-day exploit is tapped using "undisclosed vulnerabilities discovered by Vupen and it works on all Windows systems (32-bit and x64)."

More bad news for Google Chrome (along with Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari) comes from Context Information Security. The security firm found a handful of issues associated with WebGL, a new Web standard for displaying 3D graphics. All three browsers use the WebGL standard, which can permit malware to be loaded in a browser.

"These issues can allow an attacker to provide malicious code via a web browser which allows attacks on the GPU and graphics drivers," according to the company's findings described on its Web site. "These attacks on the GPU via WebGL can render the entire machine unusable."

WebGL has this vulnerability because it uniquely communicates directly with system display drivers. The problem is that "the current hardware and graphics pipeline implementations are not designed to be pre-emptable or maintain security boundaries," according to Context.

Google Chrome notably has avoided hacker exploits up to this point. Google even offered $20,000 to those who could find a vulnerability within its browser during the February Pwn2Own hacker contest. Chrome escaped without being hacked at that time, as with the previous two years.

Due to the damage both these exploits can cause, the security firms responsible for the discoveries will not publicly disclose how to take advantage of them.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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