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MacBook Hacking Contest Won ($10,000)

Macworld reports on a winning "hack" claimed by Shane Macaulay and Dino Dai Zovi for the Hack a Mac contest at CanSecWest this week.

The conference and contest took place between April 18-20th in Vancouver, British Columbia:

CanSecWest organizers will set up the MacBooks with their own access point and all security updates installed, but without additional security software or settings. Attendees will be able to connect to the machines via the access point through Ethernet or Wi-Fi, according to the CanSecWest Web site.


As originally planned, the rules for the hack a mac contest were relaxed on Friday after nobody had won the contest on the previous days. In the relaxed set of rules, a URL was provided that exposed Safari to a "specially-constructed Web page" which allowed the hacker to gain shell access to the MacBook.

The URL opened a blank page but exposed a vulnerability in input handling in Safari, Comeau said. An attacker could use the vulnerability in a number of ways, but Di Zovie used it to open a back door that gave him access to anything on the computer, Comeau said.


According to Matasano, Apple's most recent Security update does not address this specific issue with Safari.