Google Chrome is a widely used web browser that provides a fast and secure browsing experience. However, no software is completely immune to security vulnerabilities, and Google Chrome is no exception. In this article, we will discuss the CVE-2022-1639 vulnerability, a Use-After-Free bug in ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine) that affected Google Chrome versions prior to 101..4951.64, allowing a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page. We will dive into the specifics of the vulnerability, how it can be exploited, and the fixes that have been implemented in the latest version of Google Chrome.

What is ANGLE?

ANGLE is a cross-platform graphics engine abstraction layer developed by the Chromium project. It provides a translation layer between different graphics APIs, such as OpenGL and Direct3D, allowing web applications and games to run efficiently on different platforms. ANGLE is a crucial component of Google Chrome's WebGL implementation, as it enables Chrome to deliver hardware-accelerated 3D graphics on various operating systems.

Details of the Vulnerability (CVE-2022-1639)

CVE-2022-1639 is a Use-After-Free vulnerability in ANGLE, which occurs when an object in the memory heap is used after it has been freed or deleted. This can lead to heap corruption and potentially allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service.

In Google Chrome versions prior to 101..4951.64, a remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to visit a crafted HTML page containing malicious WebGL content. The vulnerability stems from improper handling of certain WebGL objects within ANGLE, leading to the use of a freed memory block, causing heap corruption and potentially allowing arbitrary code execution.

Exploit Details

To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would first create a malicious WebGL application or a WebGL-enabled HTML page. This page would be designed to trigger the Use-After-Free bug by manipulating WebGL objects in a specific order. An example of an exploit code snippet:

// Simplified example of malicious WebGL code
const canvas = document.createElement('canvas');
const gl = canvas.getContext('webgl');

// Create WebGL objects
const program = gl.createProgram();
const buffer = gl.createBuffer();

// Set up WebGL state to trigger UAF bug
// ...
// -- Details omitted for brevity -- 
// ...

// Delete objects, causing Use-After-Free

// Trigger the vulnerability for potential heap corruption and code execution
// ...
// -- Details omitted for brevity
// ...

After creating the malicious WebGL content, the attacker would then need to deliver it to potential victims. This can be done by embedding the content in legitimate websites through techniques such as malvertising or injecting it into vulnerable web applications using cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. Unsuspecting visitors of the compromised websites would then become potential targets for exploitation.

References and Further Reading

1. ANGLE Project website:
2. Chrome Releases blog post: Stable Channel Update for Desktop
3. National Vulnerability Database entry for CVE-2022-1639:

Mitigation and Conclusion

Google has addressed the CVE-2022-1639 vulnerability in Chrome version 101..4951.64. Users should update their browsers to the latest version to protect themselves from potential exploitation. This reinforces the importance of keeping software updated and being cautious about visiting untrusted websites or clicking on suspicious links, as cyber attackers are constantly seeking ways to exploit vulnerabilities in widely used applications like Google Chrome.


Published on: 07/26/2022 22:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 08/15/2022 11:17:00 UTC