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Google Releases Chrome 74 Update With Critical Security Fixes

Google Releases Chrome 74 Update with Critical Security Fixes

Google has released a new version of its popular web browser, Chrome 74, which includes 39 security fixes and new features. Some of the most notable changes are the support for Windows 10 Dark Mode, the ability to disable hyperlink auditing, and the respect for reduced motion preferences. Here is a summary of what's new in Chrome 74 and why you should update your browser as soon as possible.

Windows 10 Dark Mode support coming

Chrome 74 was supposed to include support for the browser's Dark Mode to synchronize with Windows 10's color settings. For many, including myself, this feature is currently not working. However, Google has stated that they are gradually rolling out this feature to all users and it should be available soon. This means that if you have enabled Dark Mode in Windows 10, Chrome will automatically switch to a dark theme as well, which can be easier on the eyes and save battery life.


No longer possible to disable hyperlink auditing

Hyperlink auditing is a feature that allows websites to track clicks on links by sending a ping request to a specified URL. This can be used for analytics purposes, but also for privacy invasion and malicious activities. Previously, Chrome users could disable this feature by using the --disable-ping command line flag or by installing an extension. However, Chrome 74 has removed this option and made hyperlink auditing enabled by default. This means that websites can now track your clicks on links without your consent or knowledge. Google claims that this feature does not leak any personal information and that users can opt out by using a content blocker, but some users are still unhappy with this change.

Support for reduced motion preferences

Some users may experience motion sickness or discomfort when viewing animations or transitions on web pages. To address this issue, Chrome 74 has added support for the prefers-reduced-motion media query, which allows websites to respect the user's preference for reduced motion. This means that if you have enabled the Reduce motion option in your system settings, Chrome will instruct websites to minimize or eliminate animations and transitions that may cause you discomfort.

New Feature Policy Updates

Feature Policy is a mechanism that allows websites to control which features and APIs can be used by third-party content such as iframes. This can improve performance, security, and user experience by preventing unwanted or malicious behavior. Chrome 74 has introduced two new feature policies: unsized-media and oversized-images. The unsized-media policy controls whether media elements (such as images and videos) can be displayed without specifying their dimensions. The oversized-images policy controls whether images that are larger than their container can be rendered. By default, both policies are enabled, which means that unsized media elements will have their intrinsic size used as a default size, and oversized images will be downscaled to fit their container.

High severity security issues fixed

Chrome 74 has also fixed 39 security issues, ranging from low to high severity. Some of the most serious issues include CVE-2023-4068, CVE-2023-4069, and CVE-2023-4070, which are type-confusion flaws in V8, the JavaScript engine used by Chrome. These vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the browser. Another high severity issue is CVE-2023-4071, which is a heap buffer overflow issue in Visuals. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to cause a denial of service or potentially exploit memory corruption. Google has awarded a total of $30,000 to the researchers who reported these issues.

To update your Chrome browser to the latest version, go to Settings > Help > About Google Chrome and click on the Relaunch button. Alternatively, you can download Chrome 74 from [here].


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