A new version of the most popular web browser, Google Chrome is out. Version 64 has reached the stable branch and is now available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Here are the key changes.
If you are not aware about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, we have covered them in detail in these two articles:
- Microsoft is rolling out emergency fix for Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws
- Here are Windows 7 and 8.1 fixes for Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws
In short, both Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities allow a process to read the private data of any other process, even from outside a virtual machine. This is possible due to Intel's implementation of how their CPUs prefetch data. This cannot be fixed by patching the OS only. The fix involves updating the OS kernel, as well as a CPU microcode update and possibly even a UEFI/BIOS/firmware update for some devices, to fully mitigate the exploits.
Chrome 64 also incorporates an improved ad-blocker. It will be able to detect links disguised as play buttons and site controls. Such sites abuse the user experience by tricking the user into opening popups.
The browser will prevent transparent overlays from being exploited. Such overlays open a new browser window with some unwanted web site showing ads which then redirects to another website. Also, it will block third-party iFrame code from running if the user had no interaction with it.
Google also claims to have added some built-in protection against malicious auto-redirects.
Another interesting change is HDR video support on Windows 10 was also added. We've reviewed it in the following article:
Finally, there is a new site-wide auto-mute option to get rid of unwanted background sounds. It is implemented as a permissions option which can be set for specific sites which play annoying sounds. Check out the new option under Settings -> Advanced options ->Privacy and Security -> Content Settings -> Sound. Videos that automatically play with sound are also now disabled by default.
If you are an existing Google Chrome user, you should get the update automatically. The browser can be downloaded from this page:
The official announcement can be found here.
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