April 2, 2008
CanSecWest: Countering Misinformation
As you surely know by now, the CanSecWest conference was the stage for a contest, PWN to OWN. Three laptops were set up; laptops running Windows Vista, Ubuntu Linux, and Mac OS X. The goal was to hack the computer and read the contents of a file located on each of the machines, using a 0day code execution vulnerability. During the first day, you can only attack the machine over the network, without physical access. On the second day, user interaction comes into play (visiting a website, opening an email). On the third and final day, third-party applications are added to the mix. Each machine had the same cash prize on its head. As you all know, the Mac was hacked first, on day two. The user only had to visit a website, and the Mac was hacked. Vista got hacked on the third day using a security hole in Adobe's Flash, and the Ubuntu machine did not get hacked at all.