Feeds

Flame worm's makers fail to collect Epic 0wnage award

State cyberespionage tool-makers shun Pwnie Award glory

Top three mobile application threats

Black Hat Hackers and other delegates to Black Hat celebrated the best and worst of information security with the latest edition of the Pwnie Awards, the security geek equivalent of the Oscars.

The award in the top "Epic 0wnage" category went to whoever's behind the Flame cyber-espionage spyware. It was their use of an MD5 collision attack to create counterfeit Microsoft certificates – and thereby push bogus updates via the Windows Update – that earned the respect of hackers. Recent reports by the Washington Post suggest that a team from the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Israeli Defence Force developed the attack.

The NSA's director Keith Alexander gave a key-note at Defcon – the other hacking convention held in Vegas in July - but disappointingly decided not to pick up the award.

"Any attack that requires a breakthrough in cryptography to pull off is pretty cool in our book," the citation for the award explains. "And being able to pwn any Windows machine through Windows Update is pretty mass 0wnage."

The Pwnie for "Best Client-Side Bug" was a joint award to Pinkie Pie and Sergey Glazunov for separately hacking their way out of the Chrome sandbox. Both had already raked in $60,000 as winners of Google's Pwnium hacker contest for their ingenious hacks.

The discovery that some MySQL server configurations will accept any login password after enough tries earned Sergei Golubchik the Pwnie for the "Best Server-Side Bug". And the most innovative research Pwnie was bestowed on Travis Goodspeed for a paper on Wi-Fi hacking, entitled Packets in Packets: Orson Welles In-Band Signalling Attacks for Modern Radios.

Most of the awards celebrate excellence in the field of information security but one award celebrates epic incompetence. The Golden Raspberry Pwnie for Most Epic FAIL went to F5 for putting using the same extractable SSH private key in the firmware of all its appliances.

A more complete list of winners for the Pwnies can be found on the award's official page here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes
Big Red's cloud is safe and Oracle Linux 6 has been patched, but Java has some issues
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.