Security Researchers Use Wi-Fi and Safari Exploits to Breach iPhone 7 at Annual Mobile Pwn2Own Contest

Trend Micro's annual Mobile Pwn2Own contest took place in Tokyo, Japan today at the PacSec security conference, and security researchers spent the day attempting to hack into the iPhone 7, the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Google Pixel, and the Huawei Mate 9 Pro in an effort to win prizes totaling more than $500,000.


Apple's iPhone 7, running iOS 11.1, the latest version of the iOS 11 operating system, was successfully breached twice by Tencent Keen Security Lab. The first hack targeted a Wi-Fi bug and won the team $110,000 and 11 Master of Pwn points, while the second hack targeted the Safari Browser and earned Tencent Keen Security Lab $45,000 and 12 Master of Pwn points.

They used a total of four bugs to gain code execution and escalate privileges to allow their rogue application to persist through a reboot. They earned $60,000 for the WiFi exploit and added $50,000 for the persistence bonus - a total of $110,000 and 11 Master of Pwn points.

Tencent Keen Security Lab was on the clock once more as they targeted the Safari Browser on the Apple iPhone 7. It took them just a few seconds to successfully demonstrate their exploit, which needed only two bugs - one in the browser and one in a system service to allow their rogue app to persist through a reboot. As the second finisher in the Browser category, they earned half of the cash award at $45,000, but still earned the full 13 Master of Pwn points.

Security researcher Richard Zhu was also able to leverage two bugs to exploit the Safari browser and escape the sandbox to successfully run code on the iPhone 7, earning him $25,000 and 10 Master of Pwn points.

Along with the iPhone 7, researchers were able to find exploits for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Huawei Mate 9 Pro, earning a total of $350,000.

Trend Micro hosts Pwn2Own in an effort to promote its Zero Day Initiative, designed to reward security researchers for disclosing major vulnerabilities to tech companies like Apple and Google.

Pwn2Own continues on through tomorrow, so additional exploits may be uncovered. Apple representatives have been known to attend Pwn2Own competitions in past years, and all vulnerabilities discovered are disclosed to Apple. The company then has 90 days to produce patches for all iOS-related bugs before they're publicly disclosed.

Tag: Pwn2Own

Top Rated Comments

btrach144 Avatar
61 months ago
Would these security researches tell Tim cook that getting rid of touch ID was retarded?
This has nothing to do with FaceID or TouchID. Please remain relevant.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SoApple Avatar
61 months ago
Would these security researches tell Tim cook that getting rid of touch ID was retarded?
What an irrelavant and pointless comment.

On a more relevant note. This exploit has been fixed in the new update.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
61 months ago
These contests are great. They give good incentives to find security exploits, and they end up getting patched by Apple.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Slix Avatar
61 months ago
The real question is: Will their exploits they found affect my iPod touch running iOS 6.1.6?

:P
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aloft085 Avatar
61 months ago
FBI joke in 3-2-1....
No need, the FBI is the joke.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WatchFromAfar Avatar
61 months ago
On a more relevant note. This exploit has been fixed in the new update.
Has it? the post says "Apple's iPhone 7, running iOS 11.1, the latest version of the iOS 11 operating system" which came out yesterday.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

M2 MacBook Pro Much Slower Than Previous Model

Friday July 1, 2022 2:24 am PDT by
Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip features a significantly slower SSD compared to the previous model, resulting in poorer performance in some workflows, it has been discovered. Specifically, it has been found that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro....