IDG News Service - A delayed flight didn't stop Vincenzo Iozzo and Ralf Weinmann from scoring a cool US$15,000, a brand-new iPhone and a trip to Las Vegas at the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest in Vancouver on Wednesday.
The security researchers developed an undisclosed attack on the iPhone's mobile Safari browser to get access to a phone and then run a program that sent the phone's SMS messages to a Web server.
It is the first fully functioning attack on an iPhone since Apple released version 2 of the device in 2008, said Charlie Miller, the hacker who is set to follow the iPhone attack with an exploit he hopes will hack into the contest's MacBook Pro (his takeaway, should he succeed: the laptop and $10,000).
Apple introduced a number of advanced security measures with iPhone 2.0, including a "sandbox" in the device's kernel that restricts what hackers can do on a compromised machine, and a cryptographic code-signing requirement that makes it harder for them to run their initial malicious payload.
"When iPhone 2.0 came out, it became a lot harder" to hack the device, said Miller, who earned fame three years ago as the first person to hack the iPhone.
In fact, Weinmann said he had been set to compete in last year's Pwn2Own contest but had to abandon his plans at the last minute when he discovered his attack only worked on jail-broken phones, which have been hacked to run unapproved applications. Jail-breaking circumvents the iPhone's memory protections, but the Pwn2Own rules force contestants to use unmodified phones.
The Pwn2Own contest pays contestants for their exploit code, which leverages software flaws to give the attacker a foothold on the machine being attacked. But because of the iPhone's sandbox architecture, Weinmann and Iozzo actually spent much more time working on their payload software.
To make their attack work, they used a technique called "return-oriented programming," in which they essentially cobble together instructions from different parts of the iPhone's memory. But even with this technique, the iPhone's sandbox restricted what they could do once they had hacked into the machine.
Return-oriented programming has been around for more than a decade, but this attack is the first public demonstration of this technique on the Arm microprocessor, contest organizers say.
Iozzo and Weinmann were selected by lot to be the first to try out their attack at the three-day hacking contest. But Iozzo wasn't actually at the conference when his slot came up. A delayed flight caused him to miss his connection to Vancouver, but a co-worker, Thomas Dullien (better known as Halvar Flake), stood in for him at the contest.
- Microsoft defends Windows 7 security after Pwn2Own hacks
- Pwn2Own winner tells Apple, Microsoft to find their own bugs
- Hacker busts IE8 on Windows 7 in 2 minutes
- iPhone, Safari, IE8, Firefox all fall on day one of Pwn2Own
- iPhone falls in Pwn2Own hacking contest
- Former winners defend titles at Pwn2Own hacking contest
- Hackers at Pwn2Own to compete for $100K in prizes
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support...
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Government Agency Webifies Outdated COBOL Applications Let this CTO tell you how his agency converted 1980s-era green screens into an e-filing portal for the 100,000 cases handled each year...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts