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  1. #1
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    TOP STORY

    Security competition reveals new browser flaws


    By Tracey Capen

    CanSecWest 2010's hacker competition results in public defeat for Apple's iPhone and three of the leading Internet browsers.

    Apple, Microsoft, and other vendors are certain to release patches in the next few months for these holes, but what's a user to do in the meantime?

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/04/01/02 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.


    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-20 at 15:57.

  2. #2
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    In the 4th paragraph this text shows up on my screen:

    Ironically, the competition has another aspect pre-eminent with malware authors &#8212 money. In addition to bragging rights, winning this year's Pwn2Own included $100,000 in prize money put up by security company TippingPoint.

    This &#8212 is usually an em dash. (Appears also in next paragraph). Shows up in Chrome as well as Firefox - with coding UTF-8.

  3. #3
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    Tracey,
    You stated that network card drivers need to be updated.
    I am going to assume that means the NIC built onto your motherboard is also hackable.
    Getting those drivers could be interesting.

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    Windows 7 Security: What's the Real Story?

    The tech press, like the mainstream news media, loves a story that makes somebody or something (in this case, Windows 7) look bad. Thus it's not surprising that after last week's Pwn2Own hacking contest, which was part of the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, Canada last week, headlines like this one popped up: "Hackers Exploit Windows 7 in 2 Minutes."


    They did this by disabling DEP and ASLR via the web browser. (not as you reported: circumventing it). Please get the story straight!

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    Thanks Toktok for pointing that out. The code has a missing semicolon.

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Valla View Post
    Tracey,
    You stated that network card drivers need to be updated.
    I am going to assume that means the NIC built onto your motherboard is also hackable.
    Getting those drivers could be interesting.
    This is the real story behind the Broadcom Network pwn-ing incident at CanSecWest. It is nowhere near as universal as Tracey's article (in Windows Secrets) states.

    http://www.pcworld.c..._firewalls.html

    That having been said, this is definitely a shot across the bow for Network Card manufacturers. They need to upgrade their internal security for their remote updating schemes.

    And Broadcom chipsets are sometimes built in to motherboards, but what has been hacked so far, are their daughterboards, especially the feature-rich high-end cards, which have frequent firmware updates.
    -- Bob Primak --

  7. #7
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylve Davis View Post

    Windows 7 Security: What's the Real Story?

    The tech press, like the mainstream news media, loves a story that makes somebody or something (in this case, Windows 7) look bad. Thus it's not surprising that after last week's Pwn2Own hacking contest, which was part of the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, Canada last week, headlines like this one popped up: "Hackers Exploit Windows 7 in 2 Minutes."


    They did this by disabling DEP and ASLR via the web browser. (not as you reported: circumventing it). Please get the story straight!
    Not so fast, there, Sylve! Read the real story here: (Source: Computerworld.)

    http://www.computerw..._7_in_2_minutes

    What really happened was that the hackers DID break ASLR and DEP through a remote hack first, then used a second known flaw to hack into and pwn IE8 entirely. You should read the following paragraph from the Computerworld article several times, SLOWLY, to get what the hackers really did accomplish. Tracey has it essentially right.

    "Both Peter Vreugdenhil of the Netherlands and a German researcher who would only identify himself by the first name Nils found ways to disable DEP (data execution prevention) and ASLR (address space layout randomization), which are two of Windows 7's most vaunted anti-exploit features. Each contestant faced down the fully-patched 64-bit version of Windows 7 and came out a winner."
    (This is a direct quote from the Computerworld article I referenced in this post. )
    -- Bob Primak --

  8. #8
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    The explanation that Macs are never hacked because they have only 8% market share (though a much larger $ % share and account for much more browsing and such/user) has become a threadbare cliche when given along with an assertion that "nearly all experts" agree they're just as hackable.

    Who gets publicity for hacking a Win machine? A real Mac virus in the wild would get big coverage for these egotistical little basement trolls. And hundreds of thousands of people are coding for Macs and other Apple devices.

    8% still equates to tens of millions of compromisable devices. So with 8% of the market, a basically 0% share of the hundreds of thousands of malware specie out there simply doesn't equate. Quite a few somebodies would be doing this. So please go beyond this chestnut the next time you explore the topic.

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