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What's in the latest Chrome update? Nagging notifications muted, SameSite cookie policy enforced


Google yesterday released Chrome 84, the first upgrade in almost two months, with changes to how some notifications are displayed and a restart of the SameSite cookie standard that was postponed this spring.

The search giant also paid out more than $21,000 in bounties to researchers who reported some of the 38 vulnerabilities patched in Chrome 84. One of the flaws was marked “Critical,” Google’s most-serious threat ranking, with another seven tapped as “High,” the second-most dire. Google had not yet decided on rewards for the critical bug and four of the high.

Chrome 84’s sole critical bug was reported to Google only on July 8 by researchers at 360 Alpha Lab, an arm of the Chinese security vendor 360. Google said that the vulnerability was a “heap buffer overflow” in the browser’s background fetch.

Chrome updates in the background, so most users can finish the refresh by relaunching the browser. To manually update, select “About Google Chrome” from the Help menu under the vertical ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab shows that the browser has been updated or displays the download process before presenting a “Relaunch” button. Those who are new to Chrome can download version 84 for Windows, macOS and Linux directly.

Google updates Chrome approximately every six weeks; the previous upgrade was released May 19.

Note: Google suspended Chrome releases in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on businesses. Chrome 81 was slated to launch March 16 but was postponed three weeks. Google skipped Chrome 82 and resumed upgrade numbering with Chrome 83. The eight weeks between Chrome 83 and 84 was an unusual length of time; through year’s end, Chrome will upgrade every six weeks.

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