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Google has publicly identified a "high-severity" security flaw that affects several versions of Microsoft's browser and could allow an attacker to execute malicious code.

The disclosure is complicated by the fact that Microsoft has yet to release a patch despite having been notified by Google of the issue last November. Google has a practice of going public with security issues 90 days after privately reporting issues to the software maker in question.

Ivan Fratric, the Google researcher who identified the issue, said he expected Microsoft to fix the issue before the deadline.

"I will not make any further comments on exploitability, at least not until the bug is fixed," he said, according to Ars Technica. "The report has too much info on that as it is (I really didn't expect this one to miss the deadline)."

For its part, Microsoft said it had hoped Google would give it more time.

"We believe in coordinated vulnerability disclosure, and we've had an ongoing conversation with Google about extending their deadline since the disclosure could potentially put customers at risk," a Microsoft representative told Axios.

Microsoft also canceled this month's regularly scheduled "Patch Tuesday" on which it typically issues security updates, though the company sometimes pushes especially important fixes outside the monthly schedule.

Go deeper

The modern way to hire a big-city police chief

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

When it comes to picking a city's top cop, closed-door selection processes have been replaced by highly public exercises where everyone gets to vet the candidates — who must have better community-relations skills than ever.

Why it matters: In the post-George-Floyd era, with policing under utmost scrutiny, the choosing of a police chief has become something akin to an election, with the need to build consensus around a candidate. And the candidate pool has gotten smaller.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
58 mins ago - Economy & Business

Speculative crypto art market takes off

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Move over, GameStop. The newest speculative game in town is NFTs — digital files that can be owned and traded on a plethora of new online platforms.

Why it matters: Most NFTs include some kind of still or moving image, which makes them similar to many physical art objects. Some of them, including a gif of Nyan Cat flying through the sky with a pop-tart body and rainbow trail, can be worth more than your house.

New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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