Google patches Chrome second time this month

Google patched 10 vulnerabilities in Chrome this week, including one pegged critical on the Mac.

Google patched 10 vulnerabilities in Chrome this week, including one pegged critical on the Mac.

Tuesday's security update brings the number of Chrome flaws fixed in September to 26.

Of the 10 bugs patched earlier this week, one was rated "critical," the highest threat warning in Google's four-step system. Six were ranked as "high," the next step below critical, and three were labeled as only "low."

Google paid out $4,000 in bounties to four independent researchers for the six bugs they reported.

No details were available on any of the bugs, as Google's practice is to lock down its bug tracking database for entries that have just been patched. The company usually unlocks access several weeks after a patch ships to give users time to update before the vulnerabilities go public.

The one critical flaw is a Mac-only bug that Google said was a second crack at an earlier bug. Two others, both categorized as low-level threats, were Linux-only vulnerabilities.

Other just-patched bugs included a pair that addressed problems with parsing SVG (scalable vector graphics) elements embedded in Web sites, and a memory corruption vulnerability in Chrome's geolocation API, which lets Web application and site developers pinpoint users' location, typically on a map service like Google Maps.

Google switched on geolocation in Chrome in May.

Although Google raised the maximum bounty for reporting Chrome vulnerabilities to $3,133.70 in July, it has yet to issue any researcher that top-dollar reward. So far during September, Google has paid out $8,337 in bounties.

Read more: How to block all FIFA World Cup spoilers for free

Hunting down Chrome bugs can be profitable. One researcher, identified only as "kuzzcc," has earned so far $3,000 this month -- and $5,000 in the last four weeks.

Researcher Sergey Glazunov has been paid $6,274 in the same period for reporting six browser flaws.

Tuesday's update to the "stable" channel -- Google maintains three different build lines for its browser -- was the second this month. Two weeks ago, Google celebrated the second anniversary of Chrome's launch by debuting Chrome 6 on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Google has picked up Chrome's upgrade pace, and has promised it will release a new version about every six weeks.

Chrome 7, which Brian Rakowski, Chrome's director of product management, said will ship in the next two months, will feature the first attempt by Google to accelerate page rendering and composition on Windows.

Chrome 6.0.472.59 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac and Linux at Google's Chrome home page. Users running the "stable" or "beta" builds will receive the security update automatically.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
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