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Use-After-Free Vulnerability in Google Chrome Exploited In The Wild (CVE-2019-5786)

Google Chrome 72.0.3626.121 was released to address CVE-2019-5786. The company’s Clement Lecigne reports the vulnerability was exploited in the wild together with a Microsoft Windows privilege escalation vulnerability (CVE-2019-0808).

Background

On March 1, Google announced the availability of Google Chrome version 72.0.3626.121 for Windows, Mac and Linux. On March 5, Google provided additional context about this release.

Analysis

Google Chrome 72.0.3626.121 addresses CVE-2019-5786, a Use-After-Free (UAF) vulnerability in FileReader, an application programming interface (API) included in browsers to allow web applications to read the contents of files stored on a user’s computer. According to Google, this vulnerability has been exploited in the wild and was discovered and reported by Clement Lecigne, a security engineer from Google's Threat Analysis Group, at the end of February.

Update March 7: Clement Lecigne published a blog providing further details about the discovery of this vulnerability. According to Lecigne, CVE-2019-5786 was used together with a local privilege escalation zero day vulnerability in Windows win32k.sys kernel driver, which “can be used as a security sandbox escape.” Lecigne added that Google’s Threat Analysis Group has only observed this win32k.sys vulnerability being actively exploited against Windows 7 32-bit operating systems, and that it likely only impacts Windows 7 installations. Update March 12: The win32k.sys privilege escalation vulnerability has now been identified as CVE-2019-0808

Solution

Tenable strongly advises users to upgrade to Google Chrome 72.0.3626.121 as soon as possible. Justin Schuh, leader of Google Chrome’s Security and Desktop team, has issued a public service announcement about this particular release.

Update March 7: Google has reported this vulnerability to Microsoft and they are said to be working on a fix for it. Until that fix is available, users currently using Windows 7 are vulnerable and the only way to mitigate against this vulnerability is to upgrade to Windows 10. Tenable will update this blog post once Microsoft releases a patch for this vulnerability. Update March 12: A patch for CVE-2019-0808 was released as part of Microsoft’s March Security Updates, so users should apply this patch as soon as possible.

Identifying affected systems

A list of Nessus plugins to identify this vulnerability will appear here as they’re released.

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