Attacker Value
Very High
(2 users assessed)
(2 users assessed)
User Interaction
Privileges Required
Attack Vector

CVE-2020-15999 Chrome Freetype 0day

Disclosure Date: November 03, 2020
Exploited in the Wild
Reported by ccondon-r7
Add MITRE ATT&CK tactics and techniques that apply to this CVE.


Heap buffer overflow in Freetype in Google Chrome prior to 86.0.4240.111 allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page.

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  • Attacker Value
    Very High
Technical Analysis

The generally short shelf life of many browser vulnerabilities is offset by their value to attackers—and in some cases very nicely offset. This Chrome 0day arises from a heap buffer overflow in FreeType, a commonly-used open-source font engine. The public availability of patch details significantly improves shelf life calculus for attackers and exploit developers.

General Information


  • Google


  • Chrome
Technical Analysis


On October 20, 2020, Ben Hawkes of Google’s Project Zero warned Chrome users that Google had observed active exploitation of a zero-day in Chrome’s implementation of FreeType, a popular open-source font rendering library. As of October 20, the Chrome team has a new release out that includes a fix for the zero-day vulnerability, which is listed as a heap buffer overflow.

Rapid7 analysis

Like many zero-days, CVE-2020-15999 is an active threat. While Google itself rarely releases in-depth technical information on recent zero-day vulnerabilities in its software, FreeType’s bug tracker and source code are public and include details on the vulnerability’s fix, which greatly simplifies attacker efforts to reverse engineer the zero-day and accelerate exploit development.


Upgrade Google Chrome to the latest stable version (86.0.4240.111) as quickly as possible. See Google’s advisory for further details.

While the zero-day (exploit) disclosed in the advisory is specific to Google Chrome, other FreeType implementations may also be affected by CVE-2020-15999, and FreeType users are strongly advised to upgrade to the latest stable version. See FreeType’s bug tracker for further information.