Google has released a major update for its Chrome browser, fixing 20 security vulnerabilities and including a new feature that scans downloaded executables and warns users if they’re potentially malicious.
The new file-scanning feature is a major upgrade to the way that Chrome handles user downloads. Attackers and malware authors often disguise they’re malicious files to look like legitimate files, giving them identical or similar names to common Windows executables, for example. For users, figuring out which ones are safe and which are dangerous can be a tall order.
Chrome will now check each downloaded executable file against a list of known bad files as well as matching it to a whitelist of known good files.
“If the executable doesn’t match a whitelist, Chrome checks with Google for more information, such as whether the website you’re accessing hosts a high number of malicious downloads,” Noe Lutz, a Google software engineer, wrote in a blog post.
Among the bugs fixed in the newest version of Chrome are eight high-priority flaws. Google paid out $10,500 in rewards to researchers as part of its bug bounty program.
The vulnerabilities fixed in Chrome 17 include:
-  Low CVE-2011-3953: Avoid clipboard monitoring after paste event. Credit to Daniel Cheng of the Chromium development community.
-  Low CVE-2011-3954: Crash with excessive database usage. Credit to Collin Payne.
-  High CVE-2011-3955: Crash aborting an IndexDB transaction. Credit to David Grogan of the Chromium development community.
-  Low CVE-2011-3956: Incorrect handling of sandboxed origins inside extensions. Credit to Devdatta Akhawe, UC Berkeley.
- [$1000]  High CVE-2011-3957: Use-after-free in PDF garbage collection. Credit to Aki Helin of OUSPG.
- [$2000]  High CVE-2011-3958: Bad casts with column spans. Credit to miaubiz.
- [$1000]  High CVE-2011-3959: Buffer overflow in locale handling. Credit to Aki Helin of OUSPG.
- [$500]  Medium CVE-2011-3960: Out-of-bounds read in audio decoding. Credit to Aki Helin of OUSPG.
- [$1000]  Critical CVE-2011-3961: Race condition after crash of utility process. Credit to Shawn Goertzen.
- [$500]  Medium CVE-2011-3962: Out-of-bounds read in path clipping. Credit to Aki Helin of OUSPG.
-  Medium CVE-2011-3963: Out-of-bounds read in PDF fax image handling. Credit to Atte Kettunen of OUSPG.
-  Low CVE-2011-3964: URL bar confusion after drag + drop. Credit to Code Audit Labs of VulnHunt.com.
-  Low CVE-2011-3965: Crash in signature check. Credit to Sławomir Błażek.
- [$1000]  High CVE-2011-3966: Use-after-free in stylesheet error handling. Credit to Aki Helin of OUSPG.
-  Low CVE-2011-3967: Crash with unusual certificate. Credit to Ben Carrillo.
- [$1000]  High CVE-2011-3968: Use-after-free in CSS handling. Credit to Arthur Gerkis.
- [$1000]  High CVE-2011-3969: Use-after-free in SVG layout. Credit to Arthur Gerkis.
- [$500]  Medium CVE-2011-3970: Out-of-bounds read in libxslt. Credit to Aki Helin of OUSPG.
- [$1000]  High CVE-2011-3971: Use-after-free with mousemove events. Credit to Arthur Gerkis.
-  Medium CVE-2011-3972: Out-of-bounds read in shader translator. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Inferno).