Google has announced a new security feature for its Chrome browser that will reduce the risk of n-day exploits. N-day exploits are attacks that take advantage of known and patched vulnerabilities in software. Google Chrome users are advised to update their browser to the latest version as soon as possible to benefit from this feature.
What is the new security feature and how does it work?
The new security feature is called Reduced Time to Stable (RTTS) and it aims to shorten the patch gap for Chrome users. The patch gap is the time between the patch being landed and shipped in a stable channel update. During this time, attackers can study the patch and develop exploits for the vulnerabilities that were fixed.
RTTS works by halving the patch gap for Chrome users. Instead of waiting for two weeks to ship a stable channel update, Google will now ship one every week. This means that users will get the security fixes faster and have less exposure to n-day exploits.
According to Amy Ressler from the Chrome security team, RTTS will not affect the quality or stability of Chrome updates. She said that Google has been testing RTTS for several months and found no significant issues or regressions.
Why is this feature important and what are the benefits?
This feature is important because n-day exploits are a serious threat to Chrome users. According to Google, n-day exploits accounted for 22% of all high-severity bugs in Chrome in 2020. These exploits can allow attackers to execute arbitrary code, bypass security restrictions, or cause a denial-of-service condition on the targeted system.
By reducing the patch gap, RTTS will provide better protection for Chrome users from n-day exploits. Users will get the latest security fixes sooner and have less chance of being compromised by attackers. This will also discourage attackers from investing time and resources in developing n-day exploits, as they will have less opportunity to use them.
RTTS will also benefit other Chromium-based browsers, such as Brave and Edge, as they will inherit the same security fixes from Chrome. Users of these browsers should also update them regularly to stay safe online.
How to update your Chrome browser and stay safe online?
To update your Chrome browser to the latest version, you can follow these steps:
- Open Google Chrome on your computer.
- Click on the three-dot menu icon at the top right corner of the browser window.
- Select Help and then About Google Chrome.
- The browser will automatically check for updates and download them if available.
- Click on Relaunch to apply the updates and restart the browser.
You can also check the current version of your browser by typing
chrome://version in the address bar and hitting enter.
The updated version that includes RTTS is 115.0.5790.170 for Linux and Mac, and 115.0.5790.170/.171 for Windows.
Apart from updating your browser, you should also follow some basic online safety tips to avoid falling victim to cyberattacks. Here are some of them:
- Use a strong and unique password for each online account and change it regularly.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible to add an extra layer of security to your login process.
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links or opening attachments from unknown sources.
- Use a reputable antivirus software and keep it updated.
- Backup your important data regularly.