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Google Warns 2.6 Billion Chrome Users: Expect More Cyberattacks

Google has told its 2.6 billion Chrome users to be wary of the rising number of cyberattacks expected over the coming year.

The company reports increasing incidents of exploits found “in the wild” by its Project Zero cybersecurity researchers. This refers to vulnerabilities that can be exploited to breach Chrome’s security and breach users’ personal data.

“While the increase may initially seem concerning, it’s important to understand the reason behind this trend.” Adrian Taylor, who works in Chrome’s Security Team, wrote on the company’s blog.

“If it’s because there are many more exploits in the wild, it could point to a worrying trend.

“On the other hand, if we’re simply gaining more visibility into exploitation by attackers, it’s actually a good thing!

“It’s good because it means we can respond by providing bug fixes to our users faster, and we can learn more about how real attackers operate.

“So, which is it? It’s likely a little of both.”

Why that’s hardly reassuring, it does show that Google is vigilant in stamping out these so-called ‘zero day attacks’, or “exploits in the wild”. The below graph, from Google’s Project Zero cybersecurity lab, shows these attacks tripled between 2019 and 2021.

 

Taylor explains the rise in attacks is purely due to the rise in Chrome users – which does make sense. However, as the attacks become more frequent, the level of skill needed to breach these vulnerabilities increases.

“An attacker generally now has to use more bugs than they previously did,” Taylor wrote.

“For exactly the same level of attacker success, we’d see more in-the-wild bugs reported over time, as we add more layers of defense that the attacker needs to bypass.”

Basically, as Taylor warns: “If Chrome is reminding you to update, please do!”



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