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 TMO Headlines - Updated November 30th

Tue, 6:05 PM
Twitter Under Elon Musk Seems to Value Free Speech More Than Truth
Tue, 4:47 PM
Apple Unveils New Retail Store Arriving to American Dream Mall in New Jersey
Tue, 4:37 PM
Apple Pay to Launch in South Korea November 30
Tue, 3:47 PM
Apple Music Delivers New Replay Experience Featuring Highlight Reels and More
Tue, 3:28 PM
Eufy Says Its Security Camera Footage Is Local-Only, But That’s Not Always True
Tue, 2:39 PM
Rumor Suggests Sony to Supply Apple with New Image Sensor for iPhone 15 Series
Tue, 2:33 PM
Foxconn Recruitment Efforts, Musk Declares War and a Mélange of Other Apple Tales
Tue, 1:51 PM
Apple Takes Home Four Wins at BAFTA Children & Young People Awards, Including Win for 'El Deafo'
Tue, 1:08 PM
Apple iPhone Supplier Foxconn Offers New Incentives to Convince Old Workers to Return
Tue, 1:00 PM
Apple Announces 2022 App Store Awards Winners
Tue, 3:00 AM
Captains of Industry - TMO Daily Observations 2022-11-29
Mon, 4:48 PM
Union Organizers Plan Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple for Union-Busting Tactics
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Daily Observations
  • TMO on Twitter!