Google Plugs 20 Chrome Security Vulnerabilities


Google has fixed 20 security flaws for the Chrome browser, and also offered up a new tab-synchronisation feature

Google has been busy on the security front after it closed 20 security vulnerabilities in the latest edition of its Chrome browser (Chrome 19). It also announced a new tab-synchronisation feature.

In Chrome 19, Google closed eight vulnerabilities ranked “high,” seven ranked “medium” and five classified as “low.” All together, Google handed out $16,500 (£10,359) to researchers for work related to this release.

Bug Bounties

Of that amount, $9,000 (£5,650) was distributed to Aki Helin of the Oulu University Secure Programming Group in Finland and researchers Sławomir Błażek, Chamal de Silva, Miaubiz, Arthur Gerkis and Christian Holler for working with Google during the development cycle “and preventing security regressions from ever reaching the stable channel.” The remaining $7,500 (£4,708) was handed out to other researchers who discovered bugs that were fixed in the release.

Google publicised little information about the bugs, none of which scored the most severe ranking of “critical.” Some of the more serious fixes, however, dealt with use-after-free memory bugs.

The security fixes accompanied the addition in Chrome 19 of support for tab synchronisation, a feature, which will be gradually rolled out during the next few weeks. Chrome is not the first browser to travel this path; in 2010, Mozilla added the ability to synchronise tabs, bookmarks, history, passwords and other data in Firefox 4.

“When you’re signed in to Chrome, your open tabs are synced across all your devices, so you can quickly access them from the “Other devices” menu on the New Tab page,” blogged Google software engineer Raz Mathias. “If you’ve got Chrome for Android Beta, you can open the same recipe tab right on your phone when you run out to the store for more ingredients. The back and forward buttons will even work, so you can pick up browsing right where you left off.”

“Open tabs aren’t the only things that sync when you sign in to Chrome,” Mathias continued. “Signing in to Chrome also syncs your bookmarks, apps, extensions, history, themes and other settings. That way, when you sign in to Chrome, you can have your personal Chrome experience on all your devices. Just go to the Chrome menu and select “Sign in to Chrome.”

Chrome 19 is available for download to Mac OS X, Linux and Windows machines.

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