A Georgian security researcher is due to present details of an unpatched vulnerability in Google's Chrome browser at the Malcon security conference in India over the weekend.
Years ago the circumstances of Ucha Gobejishvili's presentation would hardly have raised an eyebrow but that was before Google began offering up to $60,000 in bug bounties for the low-down on most serious, remotely exploitable bugs in its Chrome web browser software.
Gobejishvili has apparently forgone potential financial rewards by leaving Google in the dark before unwrapping a remotely exploitable hole in the Chrome web browser, which reportedly involves a critical vulnerability in a Chrome DLL. More details are due to emerge at a presentation by Gobejishvili at the International Malware Conference (MalCon) in New Delhi on Saturday (24 November).
Conference notes say that the presentation, entitled Project Calypso, Art of Infection, will cover browser exploitation methodologies and focus on the aforementioned Chrome zero-day vulnerability.
Ucha Gobejishvili, 19, is described as system administrator at a small firm who is active as a penetration tester and vulnerability researcher. Files on Packet Storm suggest that Gobejishvili has carried out research on a Firefox 13.0 remote denial of service exploit and he has also been linked with the discovery of a cross-site scripting flaw on Skype's webstore earlier this year.
Gobejishvili told Security Ledger that he had no plans to release proof of concept code for the Chrome exploit on Windows systems he claims to have discovered. He says he's holding off on publishing details because the issue is dangerous, though paradoxically he doesn't seem to be working with Google in helping to develop a fix. He doesn't appear to be working with exploit brokers either. Gobejishvili's general reticence is shrouded in some mystery.
Google is aware of Gobejishvili's claims, although it apparently hasn't been in touch with him directly. Pending more details, Google (much like any other interested party) is only able to monitor the situation and await further developments. We're awaiting word from the internet giant's Indian arm and will update this story as and when we hear more.
Malcon promises to be an interesting conference all round, with teenage security research prodigies playing a central role in more ways than one. Gobejishvili will share the stage with Shantanu Gawde, 16, who is due to present a demo of the first Windows Mobile 8 malware. ®