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Details have emerged about a now-patched vulnerability in Google Chrome and Chromium-based browsers that, if successfully exploited, could have made it possible to siphon files containing confidential data.

“The issue arose from the way the browser interacted with symlinks when processing files and directories,” Imperva researcher Ron Masas said. “Specifically, the browser did not properly check if the symlink was pointing to a location that was not intended to be accessible, which allowed for the theft of sensitive files.”

Google characterized the medium-severity issue (CVE-2022-3656) as a case of insufficient data validation in File System, releasing fixes for it in versions 107 and 108 released in October and November 2022.

Dubbed SymStealer, the vulnerability, at its core, relates to a type of weakness known as symbolic link (aka symlink) following, which occurs when an attacker abuses the feature to bypass the file system restrictions of a program to operate on unauthorized files.

images from Hacker News