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Microsoft tears into Chrome security as patching feud continues

The ding-dong between Microsoft and Google vulnerability researchers is not yet an inter-generational conflict but it’s showing signs of turning into one.

After being embarrassed by Google’s Project Zero over a string of software flaws, Microsoft has fired back by publicising a critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) flaw its Offensive Security Research (OSR) team spotted after crashing Chrome’s open-source JavaScript engine, V8.

Identified as CVE-2017-5121, the flaw in the just-in-time compiler was patched by Google in September (Chrome 61.0.3163.100), which we now know was reported to the company by Microsoft because, the company’s blog reveals, its team were paid a $7,500 (£5,700) bug bounty by Google.

Normally, that would be that, except that Microsoft’s dissection swiftly turns into a launchpad for a broader critique of weaknesses in Chrome’s design. For example:

Chrome’s relative lack of RCE mitigation means the path from memory corruption bug to exploit can be a short one.