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Pwn2Own

People have been writing into me asking what I think of the Mac getting owned in the pwn2own contest at CanSecWest.

Truth is, two things.  I don't know about the exploit other than it was Safari related.
And second, browser vulnerabilities suck.  No matter the browser, simply because there are so many exploits for every browser that is out there, and they pop up, then are quickly squashed all the time.  Plus, it's way too easy to just switch browsers now a days.  Many computers are starting to have more than one browser on them now..  not by default, but just by sheer happenstance.

All in all, I am going to say the same thing I said last year when the same thing happened at CanSecWest when a Mac was owned via the browser, then that's all I am going to say about it.

Weak.

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Comments

Anonymous said…
How is it even remotely weak? Considering most virii spreading around these days is done via browser related vulnerabilities, I hardly would consider it "weak".

If it is so easy to discover browser vulnerabilities then how come IE7 held up on the Windows box (until the 3rd day when it was owned by flash)? How come you don't have any browser vulnerabilities credited to your name?

I hate to be "that guy", but the guy that won Pwn2Own walked away with $10k and a new laptop. I doubt he cares too much what bloggers think of him or his vulnerability, especially someone that hasn't done any similar research. Don't bash someone else's work unless you can reproduce it yourself.
Joel Esler said…
Dear person-who-didn't-leave-their-name,

Who says I was bashing work? I still think it's a weak vulnerability.

I'm not saying that the guy that discovered it is stupid, props to him for getting 10k and a fat laptop. I'm saying that most of the journalists and bloggers out there are saying things like "Mac owned in 2 minutes". Really? Was it owned in two minutes? Or did the guy merely have the exploit already set up on his webpage before the contest began. Does that make sense? I don't like sensationalist headlines, essentially.

I'm also not saying it's easy for someone to discover the vulnerability, I am sure it took alot of research and fuzzing. I am saying now-a-days, there are alot of browser vulnerabilities. It seems like every week there is at least one. I'm not saying that the research that is done by the people isn't worthwhile, I am just not a fan of browser vulnerabilities, because, as I said.. It's easy to switch browsers.

I do think it was interesting that Windows held up until Flash was introduced. But what kind of metrics are we using here? A machine wasn't able to get exploited in one week? It takes more time than that doesn't it?
Anonymous said…
How is it even remotely weak? Considering most virii spreading around these days is done via browser related vulnerabilities, I hardly would consider it "weak". If it is so easy to discover browser vulnerabilities then how come IE7 held up on the Windows box (until the 3rd day when it was owned by flash)? How come you don't have any browser vulnerabilities credited to your name?I hate to be "that guy", but the guy that won Pwn2Own walked away with $10k and a new laptop. I doubt he cares too much what bloggers think of him or his vulnerability, especially someone that hasn't done any similar research. Don't bash someone else's work unless you can reproduce it yourself.
Anonymous said…
How is it even remotely weak? Considering most virii spreading around these days is done via browser related vulnerabilities, I hardly would consider it "weak". If it is so easy to discover browser vulnerabilities then how come IE7 held up on the Windows box (until the 3rd day when it was owned by flash)? How come you don't have any browser vulnerabilities credited to your name?I hate to be "that guy", but the guy that won Pwn2Own walked away with $10k and a new laptop. I doubt he cares too much what bloggers think of him or his vulnerability, especially someone that hasn't done any similar research. Don't bash someone else's work unless you can reproduce it yourself.
Joel Esler said…
Dear person-who-didn't-leave-their-name,Who says I was bashing work? I still think it's a weak vulnerability.I'm not saying that the guy that discovered it is stupid, props to him for getting 10k and a fat laptop. I'm saying that most of the journalists and bloggers out there are saying things like "Mac owned in 2 minutes". Really? Was it owned in two minutes? Or did the guy merely have the exploit already set up on his webpage before the contest began. Does that make sense? I don't like sensationalist headlines, essentially.I'm also not saying it's easy for someone to discover the vulnerability, I am sure it took alot of research and fuzzing. I am saying now-a-days, there are alot of browser vulnerabilities. It seems like every week there is at least one. I'm not saying that the research that is done by the people isn't worthwhile, I am just not a fan of browser vulnerabilities, because, as I said.. It's easy to switch browsers.I do think it was interesting that Windows held up until Flash was introduced. But what kind of metrics are we using here? A machine wasn't able to get exploited in one week? It takes more time than that doesn't it?
Joel Esler said…
Dear person-who-didn't-leave-their-name,Who says I was bashing work? I still think it's a weak vulnerability.I'm not saying that the guy that discovered it is stupid, props to him for getting 10k and a fat laptop. I'm saying that most of the journalists and bloggers out there are saying things like "Mac owned in 2 minutes". Really? Was it owned in two minutes? Or did the guy merely have the exploit already set up on his webpage before the contest began. Does that make sense? I don't like sensationalist headlines, essentially.I'm also not saying it's easy for someone to discover the vulnerability, I am sure it took alot of research and fuzzing. I am saying now-a-days, there are alot of browser vulnerabilities. It seems like every week there is at least one. I'm not saying that the research that is done by the people isn't worthwhile, I am just not a fan of browser vulnerabilities, because, as I said.. It's easy to switch browsers.I do think it was interesting that Windows held up until Flash was introduced. But what kind of metrics are we using here? A machine wasn't able to get exploited in one week? It takes more time than that doesn't it?

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