Chrome remains undented in browser hacking war


20 Mar 2009

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As the sun set on the first day of the third annual hacking competition – Pwn2own – at the CanSecWest security conference in Canada, Google’s Chrome reigned victorious while the remaining web browsers lay where they fell.

Okay, that sounds a little dramatic, but when white hatters (read ethical hackers) get together to find vulnerabilities in web browsers, you’d better hope your browser of choice can hold off the attacks for at least a few hours.

The aim of this year’s pwn2own was to challenge CanSecWest attendees to find vulnerabilities in both web browsers and mobile devices.

This year, the challenge was to hack a Sony Vaio netbook running on Windows 7 by exploiting any vulnerabilities found in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) 8, Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome, or hack a Macbook running on OS X through Firefox or Safari.

As with last year, Safari was the first to fall, and Charlie Miller (also last year’s winner) hacked the MacBook it was running on in two minutes flat.

Firefox and IE8 were also hacked within the day, but Chrome has yet to fall, so not only does the new-on-the-scene browser appear to be blistering fast, it also appears impervious to the best attempts of CanSecWest’s hackers.

By Marie Boran