​Google fixes 29 security bugs in Chrome, rolls out Flash ad blocker

Google has released the stable version of Chrome 45, bringing 29 security fixes accompanied by $40,500 in rewards to security researchers.

Google has awarded cash to researchers for 10 bugs it’s fixed in Chrome 45, which include 6 high severity bugs and four classified as medium.

Bug reporter Mariusz Mlynski netted a total of $15,000 for two separate cross origin bypasses in Chrome components. The value of the payouts ranged between $7500 and $1000 and totalled $40,500 for this stable release that rolled out in an automatic update beginning Tuesday for Windows, Mac and Linux machines.

Google’s own internet audits were responsible for finding numerous other bugs.

The company has also set aside additional rewards for researchers that contributed to version’s earlier in the development cycle, which prevented some bugs reaching the stable channel. Under the Chrome rewards program, researchers can probe the browser for bugs in stable, beta and dev channels but not the earlier canary channel.

The stable release coincides with tweaks to Chrome that pause Flash ads that autoplay. Google has said the move is aimed at reducing the impact of Chrome on a computer’s battery life. It comes amid calls by some security experts for Adobe to kill off Flash due to the seriousness of bugs when they are exposed and the fact Flash is widely used, making it a alluring target for hackers.

Alongside the stable release, Google has also rolled out Chrome 46 to beta, which includes a number of security improvements and even more constraints on autoplay videos.

“To prevent user annoyance and conserve power, Chrome will now defer playback of autoplay videos in background tabs until the first time the tab is foregrounded,” it noted.

The version introduces a new method to thwart man-in-the-middle attacks on users through the use of HTTP Public Key Pinning.

“Hosts can now specify valid certificates for authentication during a session using HTTP Public Key Pinning, making man-in-the-middle attacks more difficult,” Google highlighted.

Google is also restricting the Cache API in Chrome to HTTPS only, which is part of its broader plan to start requiring secure origins for certain features such as device motion/orientation, fullscreen, geolocation and getUserMedia.

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