UAE issues security alert for Google Chrome and Apple users

Users advised to update their software due to high-risk vulnerabilities

UAE said high-risk vulnerabilities on Google Chrome browser can allow "malicious actors" to execute harmful codes on users' operating systems. Photo: Bloomberg
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The Cyber Security Council of the UAE issued a “critical warning” against high-risk vulnerabilities on Google Chrome and several vulnerabilities on Apple systems, urging users to take swift action.

The vulnerabilities on the Google browser could potentially allow “malicious actors” to execute harmful code on users' operating systems, the council said on Saturday in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“We strongly advise all users to promptly update their Chrome browsers to the latest version to safeguard against any potential threats,” the government body said.

Google's Chrome, with about 3.3 billion users, is the most-used web browser in the world on all platforms, which include desktops, tablets and mobile, cornering about 65 per cent of the global market, data from Statcounter shows.

The Cyber Security Council on Saturday also warned of several vulnerabilities in Apple, including iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Safari, which could allow attackers to take control of users' devices.

“We strongly recommend all users to update their systems and software immediately to mitigate potential threats,” the cyber security body said.

The Cyber Security Council was established by the UAE Cabinet in November 2020 amid a surge in digital threats and attacks.

The council is responsible for legislation to strengthen cyber security, subject to Cabinet approval.

Cyber security attacks can cause reputational and financial damage to people and companies. The global average for a data breach in 2022 was $4.35 million, up from $4.24 million the previous year, according to IBM's Cost of a Data Breach report.

The UAE last month also announced plans to develop a cyber security vision that will strengthen action against digital crime for the next 50 years.

The move will give the country “the highest level of resilience”, boosting its ability to “address growing digital challenges”, Dr Mohammed Al Kuwaiti, head of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, said at the time.

“As the UAE looks forward to its centennial in 2071, we had an opportunity to pause, examine how the world might evolve, and how we can use technology to optimise outcomes for humanity,” he said.

Updated: October 29, 2023, 6:05 PM