Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

11/19/2020
09:05 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Unpatched Browsers Abound, Study Shows

Google Chrome users don't always take time to relaunch browser updates, and some legacy applications don't support new versions of Chrome, Menlo Security says.

Researchers at Menlo Security found that while two-thirds of their customers run the latest version of Google Chrome (.86), an eye-popping 83% run versions of the browser that are vulnerable to recent zero-day attacks identified by Google. 

Vinay Pidathala, director of security research at Menlo, says many of these Chrome users are not running patched versions of the browsers. That's a problem because Google recently released patches for five zero-day vulnerabilities targeting the Chrome browser, and more are sure to come, he says.

Related Content:

Windows Zero-Day Used with Chrome Flaw in Targeted Attacks

The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence

New on The Edge: An Inside Look at an Account Takeover

"There's no question that more of these zero-day attacks on Chrome browsers are on the way," Pidathala says. "Attackers have preyed on Internet Explorer and the Microsoft operating systems, and they will continue to focus on Chrome because it has become the most popular browser. We think they will continue more targeted attacks to steal intellectual property or simply for financial gain."

Mehul Patel, Menlo's director of product marketing, says while some may question why enterprises are not running updated versions of Chrome, it's not always so simple for security teams to run the updates. Successful updates depend on users restarting the browser, and many users don't take the time to relaunch, he explains. Second, many enterprises have legacy applications that run on older browsers, so it's not always easy for them to update to the latest version of Chrome.

Because it takes time for people to update their apps, attackers will continue to target the Chrome browser, notes Hank Schless, senior manager of security solutions at Lookout.

"These vulnerabilities are only patched if the user updates their app," Schless says. "Since many people don't have automatic updates turned on, it's likely attackers could still find success in exploiting these vulnerabilities. In the case of a successful exploit on mobile, the threat actor gains access to anything the Chrome app can access. This includes browsing history, the camera and microphone, and location data."

That could put company data at risk, he says, when a Chrome users accesses corporate resources.

As a fix, Menlo offers its isolation-based Cloud Security Platform, which Patel says acts as an "airgap" that executes all active Web content away from the endpoint, thus neutralizing the zero-day vulnerability. 

Michael Suby, a research vice president at IDC who covers security, says Menlo's findings highlight the fact that attackers will find and exploit software vulnerabilities.

"At the cyber-speed attackers operate, [for defenders to] detect and respond to the latest exploit is not a sure-fire preventive approach," he says. [These] isolation technologies offer alternatives to mitigate the browser as an attack vector while allowing end-users to continue their browser-based activities."

As a recap, here's a rundown of the zero-days Google patched earlier this month:

  • CVE-2020-16009 and CVE-2020-16013 give attackers access to the browser. The vulnerability lets malicious JavaScript break out of the sandbox created in runtime, enabling the attacker to execute native code within the Chrome rendering process.
  • CVE-2020-15999 focused on the use of fonts on a website that the user visits. The component that parses the downloaded fonts gives the hacker access to the browser.
  • CVE-2020-16017 lets an attacker take control of the browser and then gain access to the files located on the device. 
  • CVE-2020-16010 lets an attacker take control of the browser on Android devices to gain access to files located on the mobile device. 

 

 

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience and has covered networking, security, and IT as a writer and editor since 1992. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
boholuxe
50%
50%
boholuxe,
User Rank: Strategist
11/27/2020 | 6:05:41 PM
IE6
Anybody remembers Internet Explorer 6?
Manchester United Suffers Cyberattack
Dark Reading Staff 11/23/2020
As 'Anywhere Work' Evolves, Security Will Be Key Challenge
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/23/2020
Cloud Security Startup Lightspin Emerges From Stealth
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  11/24/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-29378
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-29
An issue was discovered on V-SOL V1600D V2.03.69 and V2.03.57, V1600D4L V1.01.49, V1600D-MINI V1.01.48, V1600G1 V2.0.7 and V1.9.7, and V1600G2 V1.1.4 OLT devices. It is possible to elevate the privilege of a CLI user (to full administrative access) by using the password [email protected]#y$z%x6x7q8c9z) for the e...
CVE-2020-29379
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-29
An issue was discovered on V-SOL V1600D4L V1.01.49 and V1600D-MINI V1.01.48 OLT devices. During the process of updating the firmware, the update script starts a telnetd -l /bin/sh process that does not require authentication for TELNET access.
CVE-2020-29380
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-29
An issue was discovered on V-SOL V1600D V2.03.69 and V2.03.57, V1600D4L V1.01.49, V1600D-MINI V1.01.48, V1600G1 V2.0.7 and V1.9.7, and V1600G2 V1.1.4 OLT devices. TELNET is offered by default but SSH is not always available. An attacker can intercept passwords sent in cleartext and conduct a man-in-...
CVE-2020-29381
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-29
An issue was discovered on V-SOL V1600D V2.03.69 and V2.03.57, V1600D4L V1.01.49, V1600D-MINI V1.01.48, V1600G1 V2.0.7 and V1.9.7, and V1600G2 V1.1.4 OLT devices. Command injection can occur in "upload tftp syslog" and "upload tftp configuration" in the CLI via a crafted filename...
CVE-2020-29382
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-29
An issue was discovered on V-SOL V1600D V2.03.69 and V2.03.57, V1600G1 V2.0.7 and V1.9.7, and V1600G2 V1.1.4 OLT devices. A hardcoded RSA private key (specific to V1600D, V1600G1, and V1600G2) is contained in the firmware images.