The seventeenth annual CanSecWest security conference is underway in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, where researchers are competing in the 10th anniversary Pwn2Own computer hacking contest for over $1 million in prizes.

Day one results have already been published over at the Zero Day Initiative website, with a couple of successful Mac-related exploits already appearing in the list of achievements. Independent hackers Samuel Groß and Niklas Baumstark landed a partial success and earned $28,000 after targeting Safari with an escalation to root on macOS, which allowed them to scroll a message on a MacBook Pro Touch Bar.

C6 w vqU8AA hjw

In a partial win, Samuel Groß (@5aelo) and Niklas Baumstark (@_niklasb) earn some style points by leaving a special message on the touch bar of the Mac. They used a use-after-free (UAF) in Safari combined with three logic bugs and a null pointer dereference to exploit Safari and elevate to root in macOS. They still managed to earn $28,000 USD and 9 Master of Pwn points.

Later in the day, Chaitin Security Research Lab also targeted Safari with an escalation to root on macOS, finding success using a total of six bugs in their exploit chain, including "an info disclosure in Safari, four type confusion bugs in the browser, and a UAF in WindowServer". The combined efforts earned the team $35,000.

The participating teams earned a total of $233,000 in prizes on day one, including a leading $105,000 earned by Tencent Security, according to published details. Other software successfully targeted by contestants include Adobe Reader, Ubuntu Desktop, and Microsoft Edge on Windows.

Apple representatives have attended the Pwn2Own contest in the past, and affected parties are made aware of all security vulnerabilities discovered during the contest in order to patch them. Pwn2Own day two begins today at 8:30 a.m. Pacific and will involve additional exploit attempts against macOS and Safari.

Top Rated Comments

Kabeyun Avatar
77 months ago
These people are pretty smart. Gotta say.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
77 months ago
So if I'm reading this right, OS X has vulnerabilities in which hackers shown off an ability to exploit.

Seems kind of disturbing to me, or am I reading more into it then I ought too?
Reading more into it. This is a yearly event. Every year they expose vulnerabilities in every OS. They provide each vendor with the vulnerability so it can be patched.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
77 months ago
So if I'm reading this right, OS X has vulnerabilities in which hackers shown off an ability to exploit.

Seems kind of disturbing to me, or am I reading more into it then I ought too?
It's a yearly competition, and the entire point is to find, disclose, and get these types of exploits closed. Note that they almost always spend months pre-planning (so avoid those "____ hacked in 30 seconds!" clickbait headlines) and it takes several combined exploits to get the results they want....as well as hands on with the computer.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457244 Avatar
77 months ago
Independent hackers Samuel Groß and Niklas Baumstark landed a partial success and earned $28,000 after targeting Safari with an escalation to root on macOS, which allowed them to scroll a message on a MacBook Pro Touch Bar.
Haha they get 28.000 for that? I've seen developers create stuff like this and called it an app or feature. ;) :rolleyes: o_O

You gotta love the Touch Bar folks. They look so pretty, don't they. Even my sister can get dates now.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ApfelKuchen Avatar
77 months ago
I was always under the impression Mac has enjoyed many years of very little exposure in terms of exploits or viruses mainly because hackers focused on the big fish like Microsoft. Microsoft's OS is used for business all over the world. As MacOS gains in popularity so will the number of hacks, viruses, and malware. Just a matter of time.
And while I'm purely speculating, the size of the Microsoft target is such that, perhaps, the prize money offered is insufficient - better to keep selling exploits on the black market. Leaving the public relations value aside ("Windows exploit? Ho hum!"), a target ten times the size justifies ten times the prize.
[doublepost=1489773007][/doublepost]
Apple representatives have attended the Pwn2Own contest in the past?? That's interesting. If it were my company I'd want someone at EVERY ONE of these kinds of contests.
This is standard news reportage. Unless you can report, as a fact, that Apple sends someone to "EVERY ONE of these kinds of contests," you fall back upon what you know is true.

It's highly likely that Apple does dispatch staff to every one of these kinds of contests. In addition to uncovering exploits, they'd seem to be pretty good places for recruiting talent, keeping in touch with the movers and shakers, etc. But "highly likely" is not provable fact, and chances are, due to the nature of travel, even if Apple dispatched staff to every such event, it doesn't mean they always arrived.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joy.757 Avatar
77 months ago
Really cool work. I am fascinated at how they do such stuff. I have no idea on how you'd even start.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
magsafe duo perspective feature

Apple Releases New MagSafe Duo Firmware

Tuesday February 7, 2023 12:41 pm PST by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Duo charger that is designed to work with the Apple Watch and MagSafe-compatible iPhone models. The new firmware is version 10M3063, but in the settings app, you'll see a 256.1067.0 version number, up from 186.0.0.0. The MagSafe Duo was first released in 2020 alongside the iPhone 12 models, and it has not had a firmware update before....
oneplus 11 3

Camera Comparison: Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. OnePlus 11 5G

Tuesday February 7, 2023 10:11 am PST by
Chinese smartphone company OnePlus today announced the official debut of the OnePlus 11 5G, which is the company's latest flagship smartphone. The device was already announced in China, but today marks the global launch so we thought we'd compare the OnePlus 11 5G to the iPhone 14 Pro Max to see how the camera measures up. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple's...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Orange

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 Software Updates

Monday February 6, 2023 10:13 am PST by
Apple today released new tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 software updates, with the software coming two weeks after the tvOS 16.3 and HomePod 16.3 updates were released. According to Apple's release notes for HomePod software 16.3.1, the update includes general performance and stability improvements. Notes for tvOS 16.3.1 are unavailable as of yet, but are probably similar to the HomePod...
iPhone 15 Pro Blue Feature

iPhone 15 Pro 'Buttonless Design' Rumors: Everything We Know

Monday February 6, 2023 7:44 am PST by
The iPhone 15 Pro models will feature a "buttonless design" thanks to additional Taptic Engines, according to multiple corroborated reports, so what do we know about the change so far? Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to report that the volume and power buttons on this year's two high-end iPhone models will adopt a solid-state design, similar to the iPhone 7's home button, replacing a...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
iphone ultra concept daehnert

'iPhone Ultra' Concept Envisions Apple's Rumored Future Top-Tier Smartphone

Tuesday February 7, 2023 5:38 am PST by
Apple has reportedly considered releasing a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside future Pro and Pro Max models, tentatively referred to as "iPhone Ultra," and one designer has taken it upon himself to envision what such a device could potentially look like. German industrial designer Jonas Daehnert came up with this impressive-looking concept (pictured) by marrying design elements of the...
Apple iPad 10th gen Magic Keyboard Folio Apple Pencil Feature Blue

Apple Could Break an iPad Tradition This Year

Wednesday February 8, 2023 3:13 am PST by
Apple usually releases a new entry-level iPad every year, but the current lineup and rumors for 2023 may indicate that this will be the first year when the company breaks this convention. When Apple introduced the 10th-generation iPad last year, it added the device to the lineup above the ninth-generation model from 2021. As a result, Apple currently sells both the ninth- and 10th-generation ...