IE8, Firefox and Safari Hacked to Bits at Pwn2Own

For the last two Pwn2Own contests, Charlie Miller has been first to gain access by exploiting vulnerabilities in Safari. This year, Charlie turned his streak into a hat trick.

Miller is keeping the details of his exploit under wraps for now, but CNet reports that the security analyst successfully gained remote access to a MacBook Pro by exploiting a vulnerability in Safari. Miller directed MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard to a Web site that contained malicious code. Miller will walk away with the $10,000 cash prize.

Meanwhile, IE8 and Firefox have also been hacked. ZDNet reports that Peter Vreugdenhil, an independent researcher, exploited two vulnerabilities in IE8 to break into a machine running a fully patched version of 64-bit Windows 7.

Vreugdenhill revealed to ZDNet that he used fuzzing to uncover the holes.

"I specifically looking through my fuzzing logs for a bug like this because I could use it to do the ASLR bypass," he told the site, referring to Microsoft's address space layout randomization. "I started with a bypass for ALSR which gave me the base address for one of the modules loaded into IE. I used that knowledge to do the DEP (data execution prevention) bypass,” Vreugdenhil explained.

The research says that once he had found the vulnerability, it took him two weeks to write his exploit and he received $10,000 for his troubles.

A contestant who wished only to be known as Nils broke through Firefox, also running 64-bit Windows 7. ComputerWorld reports that a half hour after Vreugdenhill, Nils bypassed the same defensive mechanisms to exploit Mozilla's Firefox 3.6 and also won $10,000.

Tipping Point, the security company sponsoring the event, will be sending details of the flaws details to all affected companies this Friday.

Read more about the hacks here.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
32 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • milktea
    I better stop using Firefox, IE8, Safari, and ... my computer.
    31
  • Anonymous
    What about Google Chrome?
    21
  • scuba dave
    All i have to say is.. I need to switch majors.. 10,000 bucks for less than a month of work? Sold!
    21
  • Other Comments
  • bison88
    So does that mean Opera 10 users are safe?
    -8
  • scuba dave
    All i have to say is.. I need to switch majors.. 10,000 bucks for less than a month of work? Sold!
    21
  • milktea
    I better stop using Firefox, IE8, Safari, and ... my computer.
    31