You Need to Make Sure You Are Using Chrome 96

Attention, Internet: A new update for Google Chrome has been released. Chrome 96 (full name 96.0.4664.45 is catchy) is rolling out to all of our Google browsers this week. With it we get a few interesting features and, more importantly, important security fixes. This means that if you don’t update, you could jeopardize your digital security.

Critical security fixes

The only reason you need to update Chrome 96 is because the new version includes fixes for 25 identified vulnerabilities. While the risk profile of most of these reaches “low” or “medium,” Google has identified seven as “high” risks, including:

  • High CVE-2021-38007: type confusion in V8. Reported by Polaris Fen and SGFvamll at the Singular Security Lab on September 29, 2021.
  • High CVE-2021-38008: Use following media free. This was announced by Marcin Tovalsky from Cisco Talos on 10/26/2021.
  • High CVE-2021-38009: Invalid cache implementation. Reported by Luan Herrera (@lbherrera_) on October 16, 2021.
  • High CVE-2021-38006: Use after loose in foundation storage. This was announced by Sergey Glazunov from Google Project Zero, 2021-08-17.
  • High CVE-2021-38005: use after free in bootloader. This was announced by Sergey Glazunov from Google Project Zero on August 18, 2021.
  • High CVE-2021-38010: Inappropriate implementation in service workers. This was announced by Sergey Glazunov from Google Project Zero, 2021-10-2
  • High CVE-2021-38011: Use after loose in foundation storage. This was announced by Sergey Glazunov from Google Project Zero, 2021-11-09.

Whether you can decrypt it all or not, the only way to protect yourself from these security vulnerabilities is to update your browser as soon as possible.

Dark mode settings for each site

Even if you’re an avid dark mode user, sometimes you don’t want all websites to use a darker theme by default. In Chrome 96, Google is testing a new feature that lets you choose dark mode settings for each site.

Since this feature is still in the testing phase, you need to enable its flag for it to work. To get started, copy and paste the following into the Chrome URL menu bar, then click Go to see if it’s available at your end:

chrome://flags/#darken-websites-checkbox-in-themes-setting

Once this feature is enabled, you can add sites to the dark mode exceptions list; when you visit these sites in the future, Chrome will not activate dark mode.

Faster navigation

One interesting innovation in Chrome 96 is an attempt to make navigating your web search history a little faster. Chrome will now keep a cache of the websites you have recently visited and will refer to that cache when you use the navigation arrows (or keyboard shortcuts) to navigate back through history. Google claims that this change will result in “instant links to previously visited web pages.”

Clipboard now saves PNG metadata

In previous versions of Chrome, the system removed PNG files from their metadata before reading them. Google decided to stop doing this and take the more traditional route of preserving this metadata. This should result in a 14x faster reading of PNG files, according to Google .

Chrome 96 also has many developer-only features, which you can read more about in the Google Chrome Developer magazine .

How to update Google Chrome

The above features and patches will not be useful to you unless you update your browser. Luckily, Google has a robust automatic update system, and your browser may have already been updated without you noticing it.

To check, click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the browser and select “Settings”, then “About Google Chrome”. (Or click the three dots, select Help, then About Google Chrome.) If your browser is completely up to date, you’ll see it here. Otherwise, you can update from this page. If an update is available, you may have already seen the large “update” button in the browser taskbar. Click on it and everything will be fine.

[ How-To Geek ]

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