Browser Bug Bonanza: Chrome and Firefox Caught in a Web of Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

In a twist of Groundhog Day, Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox are once again in the hot seat for a zero-day vulnerability. The pesky bug, nestled in a widely used code library for media files, is putting many users at potential risk.

Hot Take:

Oh, the joy of Groundhog Day! Google’s Chrome browser is back in the spotlight, not for its stellar performance, but for another pesky zero-day vulnerability. And it’s not just Chrome, dear readers, Mozilla’s Firefox is also falling prey to this nasty bug. It’s like a never-ending episode of a bad sitcom, except this time, we’re all unwilling audience members. Pass the popcorn, anyone?

Key Points:

  • The zero-day vulnerability, CVE-2023-5217, affects not only Google Chrome but also Mozilla Firefox.
  • The bug resides in a widely used code library for processing media files, primarily in the VP8 format.
  • Many software packages that depend on this bug-infested library, known as libvpx, may be vulnerable.
  • The vulnerability is exploited through video encoding, requiring a targeted device to create media in the VP8 format.
  • The zero-day has been patched in Chrome 117.0.5938.132, Firefox 118.0.1, Firefox ESR 115.3.1, Firefox Focus for Android 118.1, and Firefox for Android 118.1.

Need to know more?

Who's at risk?

Quite a few, I'm afraid. The libvpx library is a popular kid in the Internet neighborhood. Everyone from Skype, Adobe, VLC, to Android relies on it. And guess what? It's the same library that's housing our unwanted guest - CVE-2023-5217.

But wait, there's more!

The CVE-2023-5217 isn't your average, run-of-the-mill bug. It requires a device to create media in the VP8 format. So if you were thinking of simply watching a booby-trapped image, you're safe. But if you're in the business of creating such media, you might want to rethink your strategy.

Who's the culprit?

Details about the in-the-wild attacks exploiting this zero-day are as rare as a unicorn sighting. Google's Threat Analysis Group suggests that a commercial surveillance vendor might be behind it. But as of now, it's all hush-hush.

Deja vu, anyone?

There are quite a few eerie similarities between this zero-day and its predecessor from just 17 days ago. Both stem from buffer overflows, both affect media libraries that Google published over a decade ago, and both libraries are written in C, a language that's as prone to memory-corruption vulnerabilities as a moth is to a flame.

What now?

Well, Google has patched the vulnerability in Chrome and Firefox. But it's still unclear how many software packages that depend on libvpx are vulnerable. So, if you're using any apps, software frameworks, or websites that involve VP8, especially for video encoding, proceed with caution. You don't want to be the next star of this bad sitcom.
Tags: CVE-2023-5217, Google Chrome Vulnerability, Media Processing Libraries, Mozilla Firefox Vulnerability, Software Patching, VP8 Video Encoding, Zero-day exploitation