Google has started releasing version 96.0.4664.110 of its Chrome desktop browser to address a security vulnerability that is actively exploited by hackers.
Fortunately, the fix is ââsimple: make sure your browser is up to date, then simply restart it to launch the patched and updated version. Google’s blog post explains that the new browser version was released only to address existing security vulnerabilities, one of which, known as CVE-2021-4102, is exploited in the wild.
Chrome will update automatically, so Chrome can already be fixed and up to date. To be sure, click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the browser, then navigate to Help> About Chrome. If your browser is not update, this action will ask Chrome to view and download the updated version. After you download Chrome version 96.0.4664.110 (or if a newer version is available), you will see a message that says Chrome is up to date. To download the new version, you will probably have to restart your browser.
As Tom’s Hardware notes, many other browsers that use the open source foundations of Chrome, like Vivaldi and Microsoft Edge, have yet to release their own fixes.
It is not known how many general purpose users are exposed to this exploit or any other. However, due to the ease of installing and downloading free browsers, downloading Chrome and importing your browser data from another browser is relatively straightforward. If you don’t want to use Chrome for whatever reason, Windows 10 Pro and Windows 11 Pro offer Windows Sandbox, a protected “PC-in-PC” environment that will help isolate your PC from external threats.
As the senior editor of PCWorld, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other things. He previously wrote for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.