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Google Encourages Upgrade to Windows 10 from 7

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Google Encourages Upgrade to Windows 10 from 7

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On Wednesday, February 27th, Google reported two 0-day vulnerabilities — previously publicly-unknown vulnerabilities — one affecting Google Chrome and another in Microsoft Windows that were being exploited together.

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To remediate the Chrome vulnerability (CVE-2019-5786), Google released an update for all Chrome platforms on March 1; thisupdate was pushed through Chrome auto-update. Google encourage users to verify that Chrome auto-update has already updated Chrome to 72.0.3626.121 or later.

The second vulnerability was in Microsoft Windows. It is a local privilege escalation in the Windows win32k.sys kernel driver that can be used as a security sandbox escape. The vulnerability is a NULL pointer dereference in win32k!MNGetpItemFromIndexwhen NtUserMNDragOver() system call is called under specific circumstances.

Google strongly believe this vulnerability may only be exploitable on Windows 7 due to recent exploit mitigations added in newer versions of Windows. To date, Google have only observed active exploitation against Windows 7 32-bit systems.

Pursuant to Google’s vulnerability disclosure policy, when Google discovered the vulnerability Google reported it to Microsoft. Today, also in compliance with our policy, Google are publicly disclosing its existence, because it is a serious vulnerability in Windows that Google know was being actively exploited in targeted attacks. The unpatched Windows vulnerability can still be used to elevate privileges or combined with another browser vulnerability to evade security sandboxes. Microsoft have told us they are working on a fix.

As mitigation advice for this vulnerability users should consider upgrading to Windows 10 if they are still running an older version of Windows, and to apply Windows patches from Microsoft when they become available. Google will update this post when they are available.

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