Bounties paid for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Java vulnerabilities
Google's Chrome OS managed to evade all intrusion attempts during the most recent Pwnium hacking competition. While Chrome OS survived intact, Chrome the web browser joined Firefox and Internet Explorer in being shown vulnerable to attack from hackers, during the Pwn2Own contest held at the CanSecWest security conference at the same time.
Google Chrome gets immediate security patch
Google sent word that it had already patched the Chrome exploit demonstrated in CanSecWest's Pwn2Own side contest, Pwnium. Linux, Mac, and Windows versions, along with the Chrome Frame plugin for Internet Explorer, should all be secure today. It's now known to have involved universal cross-site scripting and "bad history navigation," although wider details wouldn't be published until most users of Chrome and other WebKit-using browsers like Safari were using secure versions.
Chrome security breached almost immediately
Google saw an end to a brief streak on Wednesday after CanSecWest's organizers confirmed that Chrome had been hacked during the Pwn2Own contest. Team Vupen exploited a security hole in the browser within five minutes of the contest's start. The group will be getting at least a $60,000 prize, funded partly by Google itself, as well as 32 points in the still-ongoing contest; it had already found two more vulnerabilities in software at the conference in intervening hours.
Pwn2Own will not allow pre-made exploits
Tipping Point's Pwn2Own security contest is changing its methodology in a way that could break from "sensationalist" headlines, the company's security team lead Aaron Portnoy explained. When it takes place at CanSecWest in March, the hacking competition as explained to PC Advisor would partly switch to an on-the-spot contest where teams didn't have to have ready-made hack by the time they got to the show. It would become a form of "spectator sport" and reward teams based on the speed it takes at Pwn2Own itself, scoring based on the frequency of hacks each day.
IE9 set for official release on Monday
Microsoft used a tweet to confirm that its Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate is not affected by the browser vulnerabilities used in the Pwn2Own contest to hack IE8. IE8 was hacked using an exploit devised by Stephen Fewer of Harmony Security. Fewer's code circumvented IE8's Protected Mode which is actually supposed to isolate the browser from the OS to stop such attacks.
Team exploits WebKit vulnerability
Security researches from the French company Vupen hacked a MacBook running Safari to win the recent Pwn2Own hacking contest this week at the CanSecWest security conference. The group discovered and exploited an unpatched vulnerability in Safari's WebKit engine. The browser was directed to a website designed to take advantage of the flaw, enabling the hackers to remotely launch the calculator application and write a file to the disk.
Pwn2Own competition will see GeoHot vs WP7 phone
At the fifth annual Pwn2Own competition next week, George Hotz (Geohot) will attempt to use his hacking skills that landed him in hot water with Sony to win prizes. This year's target platform will be Windows Phone 7, though other devices and operating systems will also take part. An attack will be judged successful if little or no user (owner) interaction is required and useful data is taken or a benefit gleaned by the hacker.
Researchers break iPhone's text messaging
TippingPoint Zero-Day Initiative this evening confirmed that the iPhone's SMS database has been compromised at the annual CanSecWest conference's Pwn2Own contest. Zynamics' Vincenzo Iozzo and the University of Luxembourg's Ralf Philipp Weinmann (pictured) used a malicious website in Safari to deliver a payload that could then upload the SMS logs to a remote site. The entire compromise took place in about 20 seconds, although crafting the hack took about two weeks.