Security Experts:

Chrome 89 Patches Actively Exploited Vulnerability

Google this week announced the availability of Chrome 89 in the stable channel, with patches for a total of 47 vulnerabilities, including one that has been exploited in the wild.

Tracked as CVE-2021-21166, the zero-day security hole is described as a high-severity “object lifecycle issue in audio.” The bug was reported by Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research, and is the second of this type addressed in Chrome 89, alongside CVE-2021-21165, also rated high risk.

“Google is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2021-21166 exists in the wild,” the Internet giant notes, without providing further details on exploitation, impact, or attack vectors.

The bug is only one of the 32 flaws that were reported by external researchers and patched with the release of Chrome 89. These include 8 issues rated high severity, 15 considered medium severity, and 9 that have a low severity rating.

The remaining 6 high-severity issues include heap buffer overflows in TabStrip (CVE-2021-21159, CVE-2021-21161) and WebAudio (CVE-2021-21160), a use-after-free in WebRTC (CVE-2021-21162), and insufficient data validation in Reader Mode (CVE-2021-21163) and Chrome for iOS (CVE-2021-21164).

Medium-severity flaws patched with this release include use-after-free bugs in bookmarks, Network Internals, and tab search; insufficient policy enforcement in appcache, File System API, and Autofill; out-of-bounds memory access in V8; incorrect security UI in Loader and TabStrip and Navigation; side-channel information leakage in Network Internals and autofill; inappropriate implementations in Referrer, Site isolation, full screen mode, and compositing; and a heap buffer overflow in OpenJPEG.

The low-risk bugs addressed with this browser update include insufficient policy enforcements, inappropriate implementation, insufficient data validation, use-after-free, and uninitialized use issues.

Google says it has paid more than $60,000 in bug bounty rewards to the reporting researchers. However, the company has yet to disclose the bounty rewards paid for approximately half of the externally reported vulnerabilities.

CVE-2021-21166 is the second zero-day addressed in Chrome this year. In early February, Google released patches for another high-severity flaw exploited in the wild, namely CVE-2021-21148, a heap buffer overflow in V8.

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