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Update your Chrome: Google is releasing a major security fix



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Angela Lang / CNET

If you see a notification this week to update your Chrome, don̵

7;t ignore it. On Thursday, Google said it is now rolling out security updates for the browser to address a vulnerability that is still being exploited in the wild. As first reported by CNET sister publication ZDNet, the zero-day vulnerability and patch for Chrome version is 88.0.4324.150 for Mac, Windows and Linux system users.

The details of the vulnerability, dubbed CVE-2021-21148, are currently being kept secret “until a majority of users are updated with a fix,” according to a post on Google’s security update blog on Thursday. The discretion is typical of companies facing security risks that are still widely active, but Google did note that the bug was used in attacks before it was reported to engineers by user Mattias Buelens on Jan.

“Google is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2021-21148 exists in the wild,” the company said in a blog post. “We also want to thank all the security researchers who worked with us during the development cycle to prevent security bugs from ever reaching the stable channel.”

Just two days after Buelens brought the bug to Google’s attention, Google’s Threat Analysis Group warned cybersecurity researchers that North Korean hackers targeted researchers working on sensitive topics, in part by luring the researchers to blogging sites that were abusing of a browser vulnerability.

Google said browser updates will be rolling out in the coming days and weeks.

Update Chrome

If you are using Chrome, it is a good idea to check which version you are running and that you are fully updated. If you use the Brave browser or any other browser built on Google’s Chrome engine, you should consider updating it as well.

Updating Chrome is a super easy process. Here’s how you do it.

Open Chromeand check that the top right corner of the browser window is green Updating button, next to your three-point Lake menu.

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Screenshot by Rae Hodge / CNET

Once you click Updating, you will be greeted by a prompt to confirm your choice. Click Reboot and Google will do the rest. Remember, this will close and restart your browser, so make sure you’ve saved everything you’re working on before continuing.

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Screenshot by Rae Hodge / CNET

Many Chrome users already have their browsers set to update by default, so you may not need to take any action. To check if your browser has already updated itself, just open Chrome, go to the top right corner and click on the three dots Lake menu.

If you see an option that says Update Google Chrome, you are not using the latest version. If you are using the latest version, that option is not in the list. You can also manually check for updates by opening Chrome, then go to the top left corner of your browser and click Fileand then clicking Preferences.

Select from there Security check from the list of options on the left side of the browser.

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Screenshot by Rae Hodge / CNET

You will be taken to a screen offering to check for updates or risks in your current version of Chrome. Click on the Check now button and the automated process takes over. However, you still have to restart Chrome after that, so make sure to save any open work.

Don’t forget to check the browsers on your phone and tablet. Check out Google’s four-step instructions for Android users and those for iPhone and iPad.

Which version of Chrome am I using?

Wondering if this affects your browser? It only takes two clicks to find out if you are running Chrome’s 88.0.4324.150, the latest version and the one affected by the vulnerability and update. Here’s how.

Open Chrome and go to the top left corner of your window.

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Screenshot by Rae Hodge / CNET

After clicking preferences, you will be presented with not only your current Chrome version information, but also other system and security options for you to explore.


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