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8/13/2019
09:30 AM
Jai Vijayan
Jai Vijayan
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2019 Pwnie Award Winners (And Those Who Wish They Weren't)

This year's round-up includes awards into two new categories: most under-hyped research and epic achievement.
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Best Client-Side Bug

Fourteen-year-old Grant Thompson, of Tucson, Arizona, and software developer Daven Morris, 27, of Arlington, Texas, received the Pwnie in this category for reporting a bug in Apple's FaceTime video messaging software that basically let anyone eavesdrop on iPhone users.

The bug, which Apple described as a logic issue in the handling of Group FaceTime calls, gave attackers a way to call anyone via the application and listen in on their conversations even when they did not respond to the call.

"Exploiting this issue required no heap manipulation or even understanding what a CPU or a buffer is," the judges said in nominating Thompson and Morris. They went on to add: "Don't look up how old Grant Thompson was when he found this. It'll make you insecure."

The two other bugs the FaceTime flaw edged out in this category were a buffer overflow issue in Chrome Skia and a memory corruption flaw in WhatsApp.

Image Source: Black Hat USA 2019

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