Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 28th Mar 2008 20:39 UTC, submitted by irbis
Privacy, Security, Encryption "An Apple Mac was the first victim in a hacker shoot-out to determine which operating system is the most secure. A former US National Security Agency employee has trousered USD 10000 for breaking into a MacBook Air at CanSecWest security conference's PWN 2 OWN hacking contest. The MacBook was lined up against Linux and Vista PCs - which have so far remained uncracked. Nobody was able to hack into the systems on the first day of the contest when contestants were only allowed to attack the computers over the network, but yesterday the rules were relaxed so that attackers could direct contest organisers using the computers to do things like visit websites or open email messages. The MacBook was the only system to be hacked by Thursday. Miller didn't need much time. He quickly directed the contest's organisers to visit a website that contained his exploit code, which then allowed him to seize control of the computer, as about 20 onlookers cheered him on. He was the first contestant to attempt an attack on any of the systems." There is more bad news for Apple: "If you have Apple and compare it to Microsoft, the number of unpatched vulnerabilities are higher at Apple." Update: The contest is over. Vista got hacked using Adobe's Flash, Ubuntu was left standing.
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RE[4]: LMFAO
by pxa270 on Fri 28th Mar 2008 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: LMFAO"
pxa270
Member since:
2006-01-08

Do I understand this correctly? An interaction of the user has been required to achieve the goal of hacking?

Also from the description above: "Nobody was able to hack into the systems on the first day of the contest when contestants were only allowed to attack the computers over the network, but yesterday the rules were relaxed so that attackers could direct contest organisers using the computers to do things like visit websites or open email messages."

From the same link: "Not a single attendee entered the contest on day one, when all vulnerabilities had to reside in the machine's operating system, drivers or network stack."
Nobody even tried under 1st day rules, because exploits are were very unlikely. As Elseware already mentioned, the days of zero user interaction remote exploits are pretty much over. Even XP-SP2 can withstand that.

Is this still hacking? Relying on user interaction can help you to compromize any system.

Yes it is. Because visiting an unknown website or opening an email is not supposed to be able to execute arbitrary commands on your computer.

I always thought this is nothing spectacular because nearly anyone can do such "easy" stuff (faked maintenance websites, faked system alerts etc.). The same techniques could have been used to hack into the Linux and "Vista" boxes as well, just if the user replies to a mail like "Dear Bob, please send me your root password back. thanks!" :-)

You though wrong, because the Ubuntu and Vista laptops were still being attacked under the same rules when the Mac was down (each had their own cash prizes), but they withstood the rest of the day.

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