Google adds V8 Sandbox to Chrome

9 April 2024 1 minute Author: Newsman

Google has implemented a new sandbox for the V8 JavaScript engine in Chrome to improve memory security, prevent memory corruption in other parts of the process, and reduce vulnerabilities.

It’s already enabled by default on 64-bit versions of Chrome for Android, ChromeOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows, with a negligible performance overhead of just 1% or less for typical workloads. The sandbox was proposed in 2021 and is now part of the Chrome Vulnerability Rewards Program (VRP), allowing security researchers to find flaws in it.

The basic idea of sandboxing is to replace data types that can access memory outside of it with sandbox-compatible alternatives so that attackers cannot use that data to access other process memory. This includes replacing all pointers and 64-bit sizes that might be broken.

The implementation of the sandbox is purely software, as there is no corresponding hardware function to support it. It isolates the memory of the V8 engine heap, preventing corruption that could affect other parts of the process memory. This makes sandboxing an effective defense against the memory security flaws that have been numerous in Chrome over the past three years, especially in the V8 JavaScript engine.

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