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 Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.