March 31, 2008

Macbook Air Hacked in Under 2 Minutes,Linux becomes only OS to escape

After a week full of Red Bulls, Fruit by the Foot and dreams of In-N-Out, the mighty Sony VAIO loaded with Linux stood as the only machine unhacked by the end of the PWN 2 OWN hacking contest at CanSecWest.

In this competition there were 3 laptops, with different OS’s offered for being hacked into. These included an Apple Macbook Air running OS X 10.5.2, a Sony Vaio VGN-TZ37CN running Ubuntu 7.10 and a Fujitsu U810 running Vista Ultimate SP1. Anyone who could successfully hack or exploit these machines would win a $10,000 price from famous security company Tipping Point.

the MacBook Air on display was seized in two minutes by the presumably well prepared Charlie Miller, and after two full days of work, Shane Macaulay and a few of his 1337 associates managed to crack the Vista rig on Friday. Reportedly, Shane and his pals weren't expecting to do battle with the extra protected SP1 version of Vista, and while the exact loophole won't be divulged, we are told that it was a cross-platform bug that "took advantage of Java to circumvent Vista's security." In the end, it was reported that some folks on hand had discovered bugs in the Linux OS, but many of them "didn't want to put the work into developing the exploit code that would be required to win the contest."

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