The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
MacBook Air Hacked in PWN 2 OWN Contest

MacBook Air Hacked in PWN 2 OWN Contest

by , 8:15 AM EDT, March 28th, 2008

Charlie Miller, also known for his iPhone hack, managed to walk away from CanSecWest's PWN 2 OWN contest with US$10,000 and a MacBook Air after successfully hacking into the portable computer. Mr. Miller was able to successfully hack the laptop after the rules of the contest were relaxed to allow for more than remote attacks, according to InfoWorld.

On the first day of the event, contestants unsuccessfully attempted to remotely hack into the Mac, a Windows PC, and a Linux PC. On the second day, however, Mr. Miller was able to gain control over the MacBook Air in only two minutes by directing a contest organizer to visit a specially crafted Web site with the laptop.

The Web site contained code that Mr. Miller developed specifically to hack into the Mac.

Exactly what the code did to the MacBook Air is a secret, and will remain that way until after the contest organizers can notify Apple of the exploit thanks to the nondisclosure agreement Mr. Miller was required to sign.

Since the relaxed contest rules on the second day prohibited attackers from using applications that weren't part of the standard OS installation, Mr. Miller likely took advantage of an undisclosed flaw in the Safari Web browser. Once Apple has been notified of the potential security flaw the company will likely issue an update that patches the threat.

Recent Headlines - Updated January 28th

Wed,3:47 PM
Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs Movie Starts Filming with Michael Fassbender as Jobs
2:45 PM
Revogi Smart Color Bluetooth LED Bulb: $34.99
1:20 PM
My Love/Hate Relationship with Apple’s Handoff and Continuity
1:17 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-01-28: AAPL Q1 2015 Earnings, YouTube Dumps Flash
11:01 AM
How to Restore Missing iPhoto Image Thumbnails
9:18 AM
YouTube Puts Another Nail in Flash’s Coffin with HTML5 on the Desktop
Tue,7:52 PM
Apple Blocks Flash on the Mac Following Major Security Exploit
7:46 PM
Apple Ups the Secrecy with Wall Street
5:25 PM
Apple Pay Dominates Mobile Payment Platforms, Coming to Vending Machines [Updated]
5:15 PM
Tim Cook Says Apple Watch Will Ship in April
5:11 PM
Apple iOS Device Sales Top 1 Billion Units
4:35 PM
Apple Smashes Expectations with $74.6 Billion December Quarter [Update]
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!