Feeds

Pwn2Own crackers leave iOS and Samsung mobe security IN RUINS

You name it, they'll pinch it

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Researchers attending the PacSec 2013 security conference in Japan have won nearly $70,000 after demonstrating how to compromise iPhones and a Samsung Galaxy S4 running Android in a mobile version of the legendary Pwn2Own hacking contest.

A Japanese team from Mitsui Bussan Secure Directions earned $40,000 after showing how they could steal sensitive data from a Samsung Galaxy S4 and install attack code using flaws in software that is factory installed on the device. The attack method required the user to go onto a specially constructed website, but other than that required no user interaction.

"The implications for this exploit are worrisome. While you may be reticent to click on links (heeding the commonly-given, if somewhat ridiculous advice to ‘click carefully’) it is unlikely that you assess risk and use caution the same way on your mobile devices as you do on your desktop," blogged Heather Goudey, senior security content developer at HP, which co-sponsors the contest.

Meanwhile, an eight-person team from Keen Cloud Tech in China showed how to exploit a vulnerability in iOS version 7.0.3 to steal Facebook login credentials and a photo from a device running iOS 6.1.4, earning them $27,500 in prize money. The attack didn’t defeat Apple's sandboxing technology; otherwise they would have earned a lot more.

Here's the attack in action:

Youtube Video

In both cases the Apple hack would have required the user to click on a specific link, but that's not tough to do with the right social-engineering techniques. It's the first time a Chinese team has won Pwn2Own and their attack took less than five minutes to complete.

The Pwn2Own team has contacted all the manufacturers concerned about the hole and fixes should be coming down the line shortly, since all team members are required to give a detailed description of how their attacks worked and any code used.

The original Pwn2Own contest started as an event at the annual CanSecWest security conflab held in Vancouver each March. That was originally aimed at desktop systems but has moved into the mobile arena as the use and power of smartphones has grown.

In the current competition there's still another $100,000 up for grabs if a team can successfully crack the baseband electronics of a smartphone behind its communications. Teams are already flexing their fingers and optimizing their code for that task and results are expected on Thursday. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.