WebGL Poses Security Threat

CNET News reports that Context Information Security has discovered a vulnerability in the WebGL technology for building accelerated 3D graphics into the Web. WebGL, which is used in newer versions of Chrome and Firefox, lets a browser show 3D graphics for applications such as games or online maps. The bug could allow attacks through code executed on a computer's graphics chip.

There are two basic forms of attack. In one, a user could be directed to a Web page that would execute WebGL software that simply renders the machine useless. In the second, "dangers with WebGL ... put users' data, privacy, and security at risk," says Context.PCWorld.com quotes Michael Jordon, research and development manager at Context, as saying:
... the use of WebGL-enabled browser-based applications with certain graphics cards now poses serious threats from breaking the cross domain security principle to denial of service attacks, potentially leading to full exploitation of a user's machine.
Until the WebGL standard is re-engineered, users can disable WebGL to thwart any potential exploits. However, doing so will affect the capabilities of the browser and the Web experience overall.


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