In today's digital world, web browsers are one of the most essential tools for users to browse and access web content, and Google Chrome is widely considered the most popular web browser. Ensuring the security of the tools we use regularly is paramount to protect our privacy and online safety. In this article, we will thoroughly examine a high-severity vulnerability, designated as CVE-2022-3448, that was recently discovered in Google Chrome.

The Vulnerability: Use After Free in Permissions API (CVE-2022-3448)

Before we dive deep into the vulnerability, let's understand the concept of "Use After Free" briefly. The term refers to a type of memory corruption bug that occurs when a program continues to use a pointer after it has been freed. This can lead to various unwanted behaviors, including crashes and exploitations, such as arbitrary code execution and information leakage.

Now, back to CVE-2022-3448. This vulnerability essentially affected the Permissions API in Google Chrome versions prior to 106..5249.119. The Permissions API allows developers to request and manage permissions for various browser features, like notifications, geolocation, and camera access.

The vulnerability allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption through a crafted HTML page by convincing the user to engage in specific UI gestures. Heap corruption could subsequently enable the attacker to execute arbitrary code, potentially gaining control of the affected system.

Google Chrome's development team classifies the security severity of this vulnerability as "High," emphasizing its potential to cause severe damage if successfully exploited.

Exploit Details

Let's take a closer look at a code snippet that demonstrates the exploitation of the CVE-2022-3448 vulnerability:

// Create an iframe with a crafted HTML page
const iframe = document.createElement('iframe');
iframe.srcdoc = `
<!DOCTYPE html>
        window.onload = function() {
            // Request permission for a browser feature, e.g., notifications
            navigator.permissions.request({name: 'notifications'}).then(function(permissionStatus) {
                // Perform malicious actions after permission is granted
                // ...

// After engaging in specific UI gestures
setTimeout(function() {
    // Remove the iframe, causing a potential use-after-free situation
}, 300);

This code snippet outlines the attacker's two primary steps

1. Create an iframe containing a crafted HTML page that requests browser feature permissions through the Permissions API.
2. Convince the user to perform specific UI gestures, and subsequently remove the iframe, causing a potential use-after-free situation that could lead to heap corruption.

Original References

Google Chrome team members discovered and promptly fixed the CVE-2022-3448 vulnerability in version 106..5249.119. The following resources offer more information about the vulnerability:

- Chromium Bug Tracker
- Google Chrome Release Blog
- National Vulnerability Database (NVD)


As users continue to rely on web browsers for their daily online activities, understanding and addressing potential vulnerabilities becomes increasingly important. In the case of the high-severity CVE-2022-3448 vulnerability, the Google Chrome development team swiftly resolved the issue, maintaining the security and integrity of the browser.

Always make sure to keep your web browser up-to-date to minimize exposure to known vulnerabilities, and stay informed about potential security risks. Protecting your online privacy and security starts with being aware of the tools we use regularly and the potential threats they may present.


Published on: 11/09/2022 19:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 11/11/2022 02:17:00 UTC