Feeds

Is no browser safe? Security bods poke holes in Chrome, Safari, IE, Firefox and earn $1m

Big names fail, iOS kernel flaw found during hacking contests

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The Pwn2Own and Pwnium hacking contests at the annual CanSecWest conference in Vancouver have earned security researchers over a million dollars in prizes, exposed 34 serious zero-day flaws in popular code, and earned over $82,000 for the Canadian Red Cross.

In each of the Pwn2Own and Pwnium competitions, contestants are challenged to exploit vulnerabilities in supposedly secure software to execute malicious code – and walk away with cash if their attacks are successfully demonstrated on stage. The techniques used to own a program are privately disclosed so that the bugs can hopefully be fixed.

HP TippingPoint's Pwn2Own competition netted researchers $850,000 as all the major browsers – Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox – fell to attacks within the 30-minute timeframe for each, along with Flash. Only Java held up to the time-limited attacks, although researchers attempting to crack Oracle's code did come up with some interesting techniques that just took too long.

"Bug bounty schemes like Pwn2Own are really now just an extension of proper software testing," Brian Gorenc, manager of vulnerability research for HP's Zero Day Initiative told The Register.

"It's about allowing your software to be picked over by skilled independents who may spot flaws that slipped through the quality control proves. It's well worth the prize money."

Meanwhile in Google's fourth Pwnium competition, one skilled cracker broke into the Chocolate Factory's Chrome OS running on an HP Chromebook 11, earning himself $150,000 and the subverted laptop. Another researcher got part way there and will receive a lesser award from Google for their efforts.

There was also a fun competition between Google and HP, dubbed Pwn4Fun, which raised $82,500 for the Canadian Red Cross and exposed some major flaws. Gorenc said staff at Google found six zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft code, as well as a kernel issue in Apple's iOS. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
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
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.