Google recently released an update of the Chrome browser which is heavy on security fixes. Chrome 79.0.3945.79 features 51 security fixes. Offering improved password protection over older versions, real-time phishing protection, and predictive phishing tools.
The fifty-one security fixes are high in comparison to past Chrome releases. It also shows that Google recognizes the problems and has taken steps to fix them, according to James McQuiggan, a security awareness advocate at KnowBe4.
Unfortunately, yesterday 15th December 2019, Google reluctantly stopped its rollout. This is because a bug has cropped up that wipes data in certain apps that use Android’s built-in WebView, which has riled up both developers and regular users.
On the most recent versions of Android, Chrome acts as the system’s WebView. Meanwhile, WebView is the component that renders web pages inside of apps.
One-star reviews in the meantime, are pouring in by users of the apps that are affected by the bug, and app developers are also rallying against Chrome’s developers. Google confirmed that it has paused Chrome 79’s rollout on Android at 50%, and is currently considering a fix.
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In a statement, the company said:
“We are currently discussing the correct strategy for resolving this issue which will be one of:
a) continue the migration, moving the missed files into their new locations.
b) revert the change by moving migrated files to their old locations.
We will let you know which of these two options have been chosen soon. In the meantime, it would be good to collect a list of affected packages, and details of whether any mitigations have been released to users, and in what versions so that we can test that the respin doesn’t interact badly with the mitigation”.
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