Vulnerabilities / Threats

02:12 PM
Connect Directly

Safari, IE Defeated, Chrome, Firefox Survive

Apple and Microsoft get "pwned" again at CanSecWest's Pwn2Own hacking competition.

Google Chrome 9 Advances The 3D Graphical Web
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Google Chrome 9 Advances The 3D Graphical Web

Shortly before the Pwn2Own hacking contest began on Tuesday, Apple released iOS 4.3 and Safari 5.0.4, patching 59 security vulnerabilities in its mobile operating system and 62 vulnerabilities in the desktop version of its browser.

The fixes affected some of the exploits security researchers had prepared for their attempt to win the hacking prize -- $15,000 for compromising the latest desktop versions of Apple's Safari, Mozilla's Firefox, or Microsoft's Internet Explorer, or $20,000 for compromising Google's Chrome.

But Apple's timely release wasn't enough. After weeks of searching for flaws with fuzzing software, security researchers from VUPEN, a penetration testing company based in France, defeated Safari 5.0.4 decisively.

"We pwned Apple Safari on Mac OS X (x64) at Pwn2Own in 5 seconds," the company said in a post to Twitter. VUPEN won $15,000 and the 13" MacBook Air on which the exploit was demonstrated.

Earlier in the day, Microsoft passed on the opportunity to patch Internet Explorer when it published a mere three security bulletins during its regularly scheduled patch day. It ought to have tried harder: Internet Explorer 8 was also defeated.

Irish security researcher Stephen Fewer managed to hack Internet Explorer 8 on a Sony Vaio running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 (SP1). For his six weeks of bug hunting, he has won $15,000 and the Vaio.

Google Chrome emerged unscathed, prompting Google's Matt Cutts to proclaim in a Twitter post, "I *love* Pwn2Own! Safari and IE8 were cracked on the first day, but not Chrome."

Chrome's success no doubt has a lot to do with the hard work of Google's security engineers, and the repair of dozens of bugs in the days leading up to the contest. But it was a victory by default: The security researchers who signed up to crack Chrome either didn't show up or opted to focus exclusively on the mobile hacking contest to come. Still, Chrome is building up an impressive record: This is the third year no one participating in Pwn2Own has defeated Google's desktop browser.

Mozilla's Firefox also survived, a better showing than last year.

Next up, competitors will be trying to break into an a Dell Venue Pro running Windows 7, an iPhone 4 running iOS, a Blackberry Torch 9800 running Blackberry 6 OS, and Nexus S running Android.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Who Does What in Cybersecurity at the C-Level
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  3/16/2018
Microsoft Report Details Different Forms of Cryptominers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  3/13/2018
New 'Mac-A-Mal' Tool Automates Mac Malware Hunting & Analysis
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/14/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.