Feeds

Chrome patches up after double dose of CanSecWest pwnage

Pwnium pandemonium

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

CanSecWest Google has released a patch a day after Sergey Glazunov hacked its browser with a pair of zero-day flaws. The update covers Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Chromium OS.

Google's Chrome fell to two separate attacks on Wednesday evening, both based on previously unknown vulnerabilities during competitions at the CanSecWest conference.

The first hack was demonstrated by a team representing Vupen Security within the first five minutes of the Pwn2Own contest, organised by HP Tippingpoint. The second hack was performed by Glazunov, who demonstrated a "full Chrome exploit" in the Google-sponsored Pwnium contest.

HP TippingPoint's well-established Pwn2Own competition has been around since 2007, but this was the first year that the separate, Google-funded Pwnium ran at CanSecWest. Google had previously offered up cash prizes for any Pwn2Own participant who could hack Chrome, but it launched its own competition this year following musical differences that emerged late last month. Google wanted info on the vulnerabilities and exploit developed, something the more established Pwn2Own competition didn't offer, prompting Google to withdraw its planned sponsorship and set up the parallel competition.

Google's Pwnium has a prize pool of $1m (£600,000), the biggest cash prize of which is $60,000 (£38,071), which was snapped up by Glazunov. He apparently bypassed Chrome's sandbox using native Chrome code.

Pwn2Own – which ran under a different format this year, most notably excluding mobile browsers from the target list – challenges security researchers to develop browser exploits in order to hack into PCs. Target systems include Windows and Mac machines running Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Teams compete to accumulate points that translate into ten of thousands of dollars in prizes.

Chrome was a big scalp for hackers in previous editions of Pwn2Own, but the separate competition made it even more of a target this year.

The successful attack on the browser developed by the Vupen Security team took advantage of bugs in an Adobe Flash plugin to break out of the Chrome sandbox on a Windows 7 system. "Last year, we saw a lot of headlines that no one could hack Chrome. We wanted to make sure it was the first to fall this year" Vupen Security chief exec, Chaouki Bekrar, told H Security.

Both competitions continue for the rest of the CanSecWest conference, which ends on Friday. You can follow the progress of Pwn2Own via the competition's Twitter feed here. ®

L337note

Google also tosses out bundles of cash ranging from $500 to $1,337 for finding bugs for its Chromium Bug Tracker during the rest of the year.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.