Is swapping C++ for Rust the answer?
Google Chrome’s security team have warned users to update the browser “right this minute” after one of the company’s own security researchers identified a serious Chrome zero day, or vulnerability, that was under active attack.
The attacks exploited CVE-2019-5786. The find was credited to Clement Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group. Details remain thin on the ground
Google described it as a memory management error in Chrome’s FileReader –a web API in all major browsers that lets web applications read the contents of files (or raw data buffers) stored on the user’s computer, using
A patch was included in Chrome 72.0.3626.121 released March 1, 2019.
Chrome security lead Justin Schuh tweeted: “Update your Chrome installs… like right this minute”.
Also, seriously, update your Chrome installs… like right this minute. #PSA
— Justin Schuh 🗑 (@justinschuh) March 6, 2019
(The reference to a “faux 0day” related to another less severe bug identified by security researchers at EdgeSpot that allows the sender of PDF files to track the users and collect user information when they use Google Chrome as a local PDF viewer.)
Chrome Zero Day: Could Rust Help?
Commenting on the Chrome zero day, Travis Biehn, technical strategist – research lead at Synopsys, said in an emailed statement: “Google Chrome is some of the most robustly engineered C and C++ code on the planet, the security teams working on Chrome are world-class.”
“[But] despite Google’s security program… it still suffers from memory corruption attacks related to the use of C and C++. Luckily for the public, Chrome ships with an effective mechanism for update and patching – one that can get a critical fix out to end users in real time.”
“The teams at Mozilla are experimenting with porting parts of FireFox’s C++ codebase to Rust, a language that doesn’t suffer from memory corruption attacks – the availability of a highly performant and safe systems language like Rust is a game changer for software security – and we’re excited to see more organisations looking at replacing the use of less safe low-level languages with new languages like Rust.”