DoS vulnerability hits Google's Chrome, crashes with all tabs

DoS vulnerability hits Google's Chrome, crashes with all tabs

Summary: Whoa! Google Chrome has crashed. Restart now? While Google's Chrome team is cheering, Rishi Narang from Evil Fingers is typing and releasing a proof of concept for a denial of service vulnerability that is successfully crashing the Chrome browser with all tabs.

TOPICS: Browser, Google

Chrome crashingWhoa! Google Chrome has crashed. Restart now? While Google's Chrome team is cheering, Rishi Narang from Evil Fingers is typing and releasing a proof of concept for a denial of service vulnerability that is successfully crashing the Chrome browser with all tabs. According to Narang's advisory :

"An issue exists in how chrome behaves with undefined-handlers in chrome.dll version A crash can result without user interaction. When a user is made to visit a malicious link, which has an undefined handler followed by a 'special' character, the chrome crashes with a Google Chrome message window "Whoa! Google Chrome has crashed. Restart now?". It crashes on "int 3" at 0x01002FF3 as an exception/trap, followed by "POP EBP" instruction when pointed out by the EIP register at 0x01002FF4."

Nothing's impossible the impossible just takes a little longer.

Also see: Google Chrome vulnerable to carpet-bombing flaw

Whenever a new product is in its introduction stage, it would logically attract a lot of attention from security researchers trying to a make a point that it's vulnerable, and that some of the vulnerabilities are pretty trivial. For instance, yesterday David Maynor from Errata Security pin pointed possibilities for exploitation in Google's Chrome, saying that :

"Google just released Chrome, their own web browser. We decided to run it through Looking Glass and it doesn't look half bad. They at least have ASLR enabled on a few of their libraries, no NX though. Chrome is not as bad as some apps I have seen but that is not saying much."

What's important though, is whether or not the browser release would also start attracting the attention of cybercriminals.Chrome Errata Security Being anything but old-fashioned, they too do their homework and take into consideration the market share of a particular browser in order to increase the impact of exploiting it. Consequently, for the time being the level of exploitability of Google's Chrome is right after Opera's from the perspective of the malicious attacker taking into consideration Chrome's non-existent market share.

Would the level of exploitability change? In the fist quarter of 2009, Google would presumably release stats of the number of people who downloaded Chrome, demonstrating nothing else but the introduction stage of their browser. The question is, how many of those who downloaded it would actually stick with it, and would companies embrace it if it does gets popular enough, potentially increasing the exploitability level of any upcoming vulnerabilities?

Considering the fact that according to public statistics of usage share of web browsers, IE6 users are just as many as IE7 ones, converting from Firefox or IE to Google's Chrome is not going to happen overnight.

Topics: Browser, Google

Dancho Danchev

About Dancho Danchev

Dancho Danchev is an independent security consultant and cyber threats analyst, with extensive experience in open source intelligence gathering, malware and cybercrime incident response.

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  • Chrome will have security problems, and they will NOT all of a sudden gain

    share. That said, the Google brand is very powerful, and people use it every day to search, and there will be lest resistance to trying Chrome than there was for Firefox. Because of Firefox trailblazing, alternative browsers are not part of peoples vocabulary. and you combine that with the Google brand, and you have something powerful. Look for Chrome to gain 5% within a year, and Firefox to hold steady or gain a bit.

    And, the other problem for MS, the IE6 holdouts are like Win2000/XP holdouts. When they finally DO get off their arses, they will be likely to consider something other than Microsoft.
    • Anyone on Windows 2000 Now -- Will Not Consider Anything But Windows

      Have you ever met an "average user?"

      Anyone over the age of 35 who is still using Windows 2000 will be on Windows forever. It's the path of the least resistance, and they have to learn less, and are not interested in the Apple Consumer Electronics game.

      They are not interested in computers, and aren't interested in anyone selling them anything BUT the simplest thing to replace their broken PC.

      The XP holdouts ... are not holdouts. It was a current product until a few months ago.
      • How about those of us over 2 * 35 . . ..?

        Yes, I'm still on Windows 2K, and will be as long as possible. Later versions of Windows give MS too much access to my system, and provide no obvious advantages. It's not my age; I've been a software/systems semi-guru (that's false modesty) since the days of big IBM and Univac mainframes, before the 360, and one of the first on PCs, when you needed the 8087 chip to get any scientific computing done and the 64kb model, no hard disk, sold for almost $3,000.

        A firm believer in "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." My system ain't broke -- and just it case it does break, I have four (4, count them) backups, two of which are Ghosted clones, sector-for-sector, that I alternate the updating of.

        Yes, it has been compromised -- once. You live and learn, and I believe (!) it is now secure, all updates in place, all protection software updates regularly, etc., etc.

        And I realize I am preaching to another generation that doesn't believe a word I've said. Oh, well, I needed to rant, it's been a month since the last one.
        • I am also over 70 and...

          ..was also coding IBM computers before the 360 (1401 & 650). My PC is running Vista & IE7. I am not a gamer.
          Been using and programming PCs since the early 80s. Tried Firefox and did not like it.
          Best PC OS was DOS 3.3.
          • aaaah the old times

            AAHH YES
            DOS 3.3 when you could tweek most any part of to box you wanted. And the changes worked 90% of the time. most days I wish I still had my old commador 64. the programs were better and the games were not all blood and blowing up things and did not cost but 5 or 10 $s
        • Bust out that abacus!

          Yes, everything old is much better. Yay.

          [i]I've been a software/systems semi-guru (that's false modesty)[/i]

          Uh... false [b]modesty[/b]? I don't see any modesty, just plain old bragging to people who don't even know you. Yay for you. Feel better?
      • whoa!

        I am an old git still using Windows 2000. You move on when you need to. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

        Exactly the same argument applies vice Vista and XP. The XP holdouts represent people who have looked at Vista and found it wanting. Or are unwilling to replace lots of equipment just to make Aero work :-)

        Business users with big infrastructures and investments in lots of software won't upgrade unless they need to. I'm in an institution with over 700 PCs.

        Can't teach an old dog new tricks? I'm VERY insulted. I quite happily move about between various versions of Windows MacOs and Linux. And I reckon I'm pretty much on top of current technology.

        Good troll however.
      • Cheap #1 & Lazy #2

        ZDNet writer is out of touch. If they are still using Windows 2000, most likely they are committed to cheap more than Windows.

        Not moving immediately to GPL software has to do with "Time is Money" -- not a commitment to Windows. If it was primarily a Windows commitment they would have upgraded.
      • Windows

        I consider myself an average user over 35. I used Windows 2000 for awhile when I was given an older P3 computer. I use Firefox, don't much like IE at all. Now I have a newer computer, I'm thinking of shifting to Linux, but I may try Chrome, once they come up with a few add-ons: Adblock and Noscript being the important ones.
    • Seriously

      How many average home users do you think even know other alternatives to OS's and/or browsers even exist. They will use what comes preloaded on there next PC purchase, and good, bad, or indifferent that will be MS Windows with IE7/8.

      I personally use FF3 because it is exponentially more customizable than IE, and I don't really care for the new IE interface anyway.

      No one other than the small niche who just likes "different" is ever gonna jump off of the PC/Windows bandwagon because either a) it works for them, or b) it's all they know.

      "the Google brand is very powerful, and people use it every day to search"

      Really, I use Yahoo's homepage, email, and search and I find all 3 to be a way better experience than the equivalent offering from google, especially their browser based email interface.
    • Doubt Google will gain much of anything

      For one most computers are MS based and come with IE. Most people will use what they have rather than move to another one they need to install. Chrome I think, given from what I am hearing, is a small part of something larger. The Google guys are smart and knows this advantage that MS has and will plan to attack it. Perhaps Chrome is the one of the first large steps toward Google cloud computers. Google has the money and know how to do it. They already have Google apps to cover most anything. Now they are making a broswer that can be used for complex apps. Mark my words Google is going for the jugular and trying to beat MS to the punch by providing cloud computing first.

      As for the security flaw good work finding it. Google will fix it. There is a reason it is labeled Beta.
      • Nice way to explain away vulnerabilities...It's BETA

        So that's why Gmail has been in perpetual BETA state since it was released.
        • Amen!

          Google has turned the word Beta into a modern way of not taking responsibility for their work.. Recently, I've been wondering if Google renamed themselves like Apple did.. I thought they were call Google Beta.

          Docs, Calender, Gmail, Talk, Translate, Video, Chrome.. Here's an idea.. Take your ritalin and focus on a couple key marketable services and release something beyond beta inside of 12 months.

          Trying to take on so many fronts at the same time is sheer arrogance.. They're are quickly becoming the Evil they preach not to be.
        • Is it more honest to call it a Beta perpetually...

          than to call it final when it clearly isn't? Google seems to do
          this with just about everything they make, but it seems like
          their development model is more flexible than the standard
          model used by Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, etc. More like the
          open source model where updates, improvements, and
          upgrades occur on a regular basis, without direct cost.

          When viewed from the classic waterfall-type model, Google's
          use of the term "Beta" seems like a cop-out, but perhaps the
          terminology doesn't work in this context, and they should call
          the general public "beta" releases "kappa tests" or something.
          • Beta Perpetually?

            It should be called delta, since it keeps changing.
          • Everything is beta really...

            Until it is "burned in" with V. x.1 release. Granted that Google's development cycle is much more fluid than most. But it is the nature of a lot of web based apps to roll out featured in small batches. It is easier to manage.

            On the other hand I have used a lot of 0.xx OSS apps/libraries that are rock solid.
            Duke E. Love
    • Boy

      If this was IE then you would be all over it. But since it does not come from Microsoft then it is perfectly OK to be nothing but crap. And we wonder why your name has Boy in it.
    • Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong, as wrong as you can be.

      The Win2000 and WinXP holdouts are so seriously happy with Windows, their particular OS of choice be it Win2000 or XP that when they do upgrade it will be to an upgrade, not the still somewhat primitive and too often awkward Linux and certainly not to Apple who has done nothing but insult Windows users for the last few years. My particular opinion of Apple is this; if they actually believe that even 1/4 of what they put out in their insulting "Apple Guy" commercials is true then they don't know a blessed thing about computers and are actually a hazard for even being in the computer and OS industry. The fact is that I suspect that Apple knows a great deal about computers and they know what they are spewing out is actually a pack of lies. I don't see any great exodus of any kind from Windows to Apple at any point in the future.
      • I disagree.

        I Don't agree.

        The Apple commercials reference a basic difference in
        "Ownership" between Microsoft and Apple.

        Apple takes "Ownership" of everything (including
        drivers and hardware) leaving MS in the dust. MS just
        points the finger at Hardware vendors, but is still
        happy to keep pushing their non-working garbage out
        the door. Vista is a perfect example of this
        "Ownership" failure. Vista's failures are everyone
        else's fault.

        My family has used linux (instead of MS) for over 5
        years. They take "Ownership" by writing their own
        drivers and providing updates of not only their OS,
        but the installed programs at the same time. No
        problems there and no additional AV or malware
        protection required. Did I ever get any viruses,
        spyware or malware in 5 years? No, nothing at all.

        As far as XP and 2K, they are not obsolete, but MS
        want's you to think they are.
  • RE: DoS vulnerability hits Google's Chrome, crashes with all tabs

    HAHAHAHHAHA!! I thought Google was touting this as the browser with security! LOL! I'm not surprised that this browser has such a vulnerability considering the shoddy work Google's programmers do. Maybe if they spent less time playing with office toys and more time coding they wouldn't look like the village idiots.
    Loverock Davidson