CanSecWest is a conference, and 2013’s conference once again involved the Pwn2Own contest for hackers, an elite (1337) competition. The concept remained simple and will always that if you pwn a fully-patched browser running on a fully-patched laptop, you get to keep the laptop.
However, different rules applied this year. It involved successfully demonstrating the exploit, providing the sponsor (HP) the fully functioning exploit, and all details involved with the vulnerability used in the attack. If there were many vulnerabilities, multiple reports are needed, etc.
The work couldn’t be sold to anyone else, and proof of concept would belong to HP once sold. Basically, HP buys the winning exploits for own use. Their idea of reward money was the following:
- Google Chrome on Windows 7 = $100,000
- IE10 on Windows 8 = $100,000 or IE9 on Windows 7 = $75,000.
- Mozilla Firefox on Windows 7 = $60,000
- Apple Safari on Mac OS X Mountain Lion = $65,000
- Adobe Reader XI and Flash Player = $70,000
- Oracle Java = $20,000
It was assuredly a blast at the competition, no doubt about it.
DAY ONE: Java, Chrome, IE10, and Firefox PWNED!!!
(Where’s Safari, right? It survived!)
The idea behind each attack is the ability to browse to an untrusted website where you’re able to inject and run arbitrary code outside of the browsing environment.
Of course, one of the rules is: “A successful attack … must require little or no user interaction and must demonstrate code execution… If a sandbox is present, a full sandbox escape is required to win.”
In addition to Chrome, Firefox, and IE10 being pwned, Java was pwned three times on the first day. Once by James Forshaw, Joshua Drake, and VUPEN Security. VUPEN Security also led a lot of the pack of issues by successfully exploiting IE10 and Firefox as well.
The only other exploit was by Nils & Jon, where both successfully exploited Chrome.
The day after the first day of Pwn2Own, Mozilla and Google patched the exploits that were pushed out. Amazingly fast, Firefox went on to version 19.0.2 (which you should’ve been updated automatically), and Chrome went on to version 25.0.1364.160 (effectively patching 10 vulnerabilities).
“We received the technical details on Wednesday evening and within less than 24 hours diagnosed the issue, built a patch, validated the fix and the resulting builds, and deployed the patch to users,” said Michael Coates, Mozilla’s director of security assurance, in a Thursday blog.
Microsoft has decided to wait until next week’s Patch Tuesday run of updates to push out the fix for the Internet Explorer exploit on IE10.
DAY TWO: Adobe Reader and Flash Player PWNED!!! Java PWNED AGAIN!!!
Flash Player…exploited by VUPEN Security (any surprise?). Adobe Reader PWNED by George Hotz. Java once again was exploited, this time proxied by Ben Murphy.
Who’re the overall prize winners?
- James Forshaw, Ben Murphy, and Joshua Drake for Java – each $20,000
- VUPEN Security for IE10 + Firefox + Java + Flash – $250,000
- Nils & Jon for Google Chrome – $100,000
- George Hotz for Adobe Reader – $70,000
Of course, George Hotz is best known for jailbreaking the iPhone and PlayStation 3. He’s still in progress with a lawsuit with Sony over the issue for PS3.
Now in its eighth year, Pwn2Own contest had $480,000 in payouts, a record year. Amazing!
Got any vibe on this issue? Post comment below! 🙂
News from December 23-26, 2012: ZeroAccess new variant, Google Chrome changes, Fake YouTube notifications
The following is the latest list of updates in the computer security industry:
- For those that know how much of a pain ZeroAccess can be, a new variant was released lately that hides module paths, most of them showing descendants of malware infected porn files (particularly about animal sex or erotica).
- It will now be impossible to silently install extensions into Google’s Chrome browser. With version 25, the option is no longer allowed.
- People are being scammed by spam and other notifications for pharmaceutical ads promoting on YouTube. These spammers commonly operate in affiliate networks, pushing fake drugs and other false pharmaceuticals.
That is all the latest news, which we missed because of Christmas holiday. Kudos to everyone!
Google released a new update for the stable version of Chrome, now at version 23.0.1271.97. All of the supported platforms have an update: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome Frame.
One the issues fixes is involved with a website settings popup having texts trimmed under certain conditions. Another problem fixed involves a Linux bug and consists of <input> selection rendering white text on a white background making the string invisible. Also, repaired is the issue with plugins such as Google Voice and Unity Player that would stop working. This revision also includes the latest version of Adobe Flash.
Check for the latest Chrome download on www.google.com/chrome or in the Chrome browser, hit the settings button on the top right, select About Google Chrome. Usually, Google Chrome updates are automatically applied using Google Updater.
Two major vulnerabilities were identified in Google Chrome that could allow an attacker to execute malicious code, and take control of the computer. These vulnerabilities were affecting Windows and Mac. Google’s release of the latest Chrome version, now at 23.0.1271.95 should fix these vulnerabilities.
According to ThreatPost, a researcher named Pinkie Pie discovered one of these bugs:
-  High CVE-2012-5138: Incorrect file path handling. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Jüri Aedla).
- [$7331]  High CVE-2012-5137: Use-after-free in media source handling. Credit to Pinkie Pie.
More information can be accessed on the Google Chrome Releases Blog
Prevent vulnerabilities with products from Kaspersky Lab:
Election Day brings Adobe’s critical updates for Flash and AIR, so update today to fix seven (7) vulnerabilities.
Updates are currently available as follows:
- Windows & Mac – 11.5.502.110
- Linux – 18.104.22.168
- Android 4.* – 22.214.171.124
- Android 3.* & 2.* – 126.96.36.199
- Google Chrome automatically updates the Flash version built in.
- Windows, Mac, SDK for iOS and Android – 188.8.131.520
Be sure to download the Flash updates for both Internet Explorer, and then for Firefox/Safari/Opera/Other browsers.
Also, note Windows Update will help install the updates in Windows 8/IE 10, reference here
Say you are on the Gmail login page and the web browser, as always, has auto-filled the username and passwords fields for you.
This is convenient because you can sign-in to your account with a click but because you have not been typing these saved passwords for a while now, you don’t even remember the Gmail password anymore.
All web browsers, for security reasons, mask the password fields in login forms behind asterisk characters thus making it impossible for passersby to see your secret string.
There’s however an easy workaround that will let you convert those asterisks into the actual password and you don’t need any external utilities or bookmarklets for this. Here’s how:
160 vulnerabilities are being fixed with a new release from Apple for iTunes 10.
The newest version number is 10.7. Update now!
Most of the fixes rolled out are involved with WebKit. WebKit is a layout engine from Apple, which allows webpages to be rendered in a browser. Therefore, the main problems faced in iTunes 10 are with the Store site. WebKit is also used in Safari browser by Apple and Chrome browser by Google. Google apparently helped get the fixes for Apple’s iTunes program.
Many of the vulnerabilities in WebKit are from bug reports in 2011. Just now fixing these flaws shows how low this is on the priority list with the Apple development team concerning iTunes. These same vulnerabilities were apparently fixed long ago in Safari and Chrome. So, what’s the excuse?
Users can get the security fixes by updating iTunes directly in the application.
Apple’s statement on the security update page:
Available for: Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2 or later
Impact: Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution
Description: Multiple memory corruption issues existed in WebKit. These issues are addressed through improved memory handling.
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