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Apple and Microsoft get trashed by hackers again

Security they have heard of it
Thu Mar 25 2010, 10:04

DESPITE THE RABID CLAIMS of Apple fan boys that its software is more secure than anything else on the market, Jobs' Mob products were the first to be trashed again at a Pwn2Own hacking competition.

In fact flaws in the Iphone OS and zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple's Safari 4 web browser made a mockery of Apple's advertising.

Flaws were also found in Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer 8 but apparently hackers had some trouble getting around exploitation mitigations in Windows 7, although eventually they did.

Vincenzo Iozzo and Raif Weinmann were the first to successfully hack a mobile device, exploiting a flaw in the Iphone Safari browser to run SMS messages to a remote web server.

Researcher Charlie Miller, principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators, quickly exploited a vulnerability in the desktop version of Safari running on Mac OS X. He won $10,000 for the exploit, which was one of 20 zero-day bugs that Apple fanbois deny exist in OS X.

Miller's exploit opened up a remote shell, which he accessed and was able to run any malicious code he wanted. We guess it just worked!

Miller has said in the past that he is unhappy with Jobs' Mob's secure software development processes. While he will be telling them that the flaw that won the competition for him, he will be sitting on the other 19. Perhaps it will act as an incentive for Apple to get off its lazy arse and develop a security policy with some meaning rather than screwing around with punters while at the same time insisting they are safe.

Miller said discovering the 20 zero-day vulnerabilities took him only three weeks using three computers, so who knows what he would have found if he had kept looking.

Microsoft's Internet Exploder 8 eventually got turned over and Peter Vreugdenhil managed to get past its insecurity mitigation technologies. The flaw can be exploited if a user browses to a malicious website.

Fireferret was also successfully exploited by bypassing ASLR and DEP.

UK-based MWR Infosecurity targeted a memory vulnerability. It started a calculator on a laptop running Windows 7.

The most secure web browser out there was Google's Chrome 4 running on Windows 7.

No one bothered to take down Google's Nexus One, a RIM Blackberry Bold 9700 or a Nokia E72 device running Nokia's Symbian OS. µ


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