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Print 24 comment(s) - last by AraH.. on Apr 25 at 9:09 AM

MacBook attacked through security hole in Safari web browser

The two-day "PWN to Own" hack-a-Mac contest, organized by CanSecWest, in Vancouver, British Columbia was the base for competitors to show off their hacking talents.  One team stood up to challenge and managed to exploit the Mac in 9 hours.  Shane Macaulay, a software engineer, won the very MacBook that he exploited, through a zero-day security hole in Apple's Safari browser.

Macaulay's attack on the MacBook came with the aid of Dino Dai Zovi, a security researcher who had been previously credited by Apple for finding flaws in the company's software.  In a telephone interview with CNET, Dai Zovi stated, "The vulnerability and the exploit are mine.  Shane is my man on the ground."  According to the CanSecWest website, there is an exploitable flaw in Safari which can be triggered within a malicious web page.

Apple spokeswoman, Lynn Fox, gave the usual comment on Mac security, "Apple takes security very seriously and has a great track record of addressing potential vulnerabilities before they can affect users."

The hack-a-Mac contest consists of two MacBooks set up with their own access point and all security updates installed, but without additional security software.  Contestants will be able to connect to the computers through the access point through Ethernet or Wi-Fi.  According to the website, the two parts of the challenge include finding a flaw that allows the attacker to get a shell with user level privileges, then doing the same and also getting root.

The second OS X box did not get exploited by the second and last day.



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Well....
By Korr on 4/23/2007 8:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
...at least it took 9 hours, LOL.




RE: Well....
By Bonrock on 4/24/2007 1:08:29 AM , Rating: 5
Nine hours to discover a security flaw and write code to exploit it is really not that long. Compare that to Windows Vista, for example. Hackers have been banging on that thing since it was released to businesses in November, and those five months, they've only found one critical zero-day vulnerability.

But wait, that can't be right--after all, I heard somewhere that Macs are more secure than Windows.


RE: Well....
By Scott66 on 4/24/2007 1:49:45 AM , Rating: 2
As it says in the article the successful hacker was standing on Dino's shoulders thank to his months of work. It is real hard to email and get the answers. The successful hacker didn't even have to create the webpage that contained the code to activate the virus.

This means the hacker would need to read the donated web page's code and see what the virus can exploit and then ask the expert how he did it. 9 hours


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis











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