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MacBook/Safari Hacked in 10 Seconds

The annual PWN2OWN contest is really popular. It’s a friendly contest that offers cash prizes to computer experts who can successfully hack fully patched machines.

While it all sounds a little sinister, the competition is actually part of CanSecWest,  a security conference in Vancouver and is sponsored by a security company (Tipping Point). Last year the MacBook Air was broken in about 2 minutes and was the first to go. As if that weren’t embarrassing enough, the same guy this year hacked a fully up to date MacBook in a reported 10 seconds by exploiting a vulnerability in the Safari browser.

“It took a couple of seconds. They clicked on the link and I took control of the machine,” Charlie Miller said, according to ZDNet. Miller won himself $10,000 and got to hold onto the MacBook. He also said he came to CanSecWest with the intention to hack into Safari and tested the exploit to make sure it worked first time around.

Another hacker, who refers to himself as Nils, was second to break Safari. He also managed to exploit Internet Explore 8 (running on a Windows 7 machine) and later turned his double win into a hat trick by felling Mozilla’s Firefox.

Details of the vulnerabilities are being kept quiet until patches are released. But according to Tipping Point, Nils IE8 bug was “brilliant."

Check out the full stories on ZDNet.

  • SneakySnake
    PC fanboys cometh
    Reply
  • one-shot
    I laughed when I saw the link under this one saying IE8 is ready to download. I guess it was already ready to be hacked.
    Reply
  • Mr_Man
    He also managed to exploit Internet Explore 8 (running on a Windows 7 machine) and later turned his double win into a hat trick by felling Mozilla’s Firefox.
    Don't you mean "turned his hat trick into a double win"?
    This just goes to show that the majority of hacks and viruses happen because of how many people use the software/OS, not what the software/OS is.
    Reply
  • duckmanx88
    SneakySnakePC fanboys cometh
    so its ok for users of Macs to be smug, standing on a pedestal and mocking windows users, but if something comes along to shake your balance, and we acknowledge it, we're "fanboys"?
    Reply
  • >This just goes to show that the majority of hacks and viruses
    >happen because of how many people use the software/OS, not what
    >the software/OS is.

    That is true in real life, but does it also apply when professional people hack in a contest?
    Reply
  • magnus962
    My favorite part was the picture of Hackers, being the best picture for this article...
    Reply
  • one-shot
    A hat trick usually refers to a hockey player scoring three goals in a game. A double win plus one more amounts to three which therefore equals a hat trick.
    Reply
  • JMcEntegart
    @one-shot: I was actually thinking of football (soccer) when I wrote the article but it works for both. Go flames! :)
    Reply
  • SAL-e
    Last year Ubuntu PC was hacked through FF and Adobe Flash. What happen this year? Is Ubuntu PC still standing? I wish TH gives better coverage.
    Reply
  • tipoo
    So THATS what hackers look like.
    Reply