iPhone 4 and Blackberry Torch hacked at Pwn2Own

Researchers highlight the fallibility of the two hugely popular phones in the Pwn2Own contest.

iPhone 4

Apple's iPhone 4 and the BlackBerry Torch 9800 were successfully hacked at the Pwn2Own contest.

This week has already seen researchers rewarded for their hacks on the Safari and Internet Explorer browsers, but yesterday, it was the turn of smartphones.

Well-known researcher Charlie Miller managed to take down the iPhone 4, whilst a team consisting of Willem Pinckaers, Vincenzo Iozzo and Ralf-Philipp Weinmann hacked the BlackBerry device.

For each hack, the winners received $15,000 (9,345).

Miller used an exploit to run arbitrary code on the iPhone after visiting a specific website on the hugely popular Apple device. The flaw has now been patched with the iOS 4.3 release, which was issued this week, ahead.

It is the fourth year in a row Miller had won a contest at Pwn2Own.

The BlackBerry hackers had to get around a range of issues, largely because no debugger was available for the BlackBerry's current browser, Kaspersky Labs' Threatpost reported. Indeed, the team had little documentation to go on whatsoever.

"It was all trial and error. We didn't have a debugger, so it crashes or it doesn't crash or it takes a long time to respond. Those are the three options," Pinckaers said.

"We had to figure out the memory map from small little pieces."

More mobile threats

Pwn2Own has highlighted the kinds of vulnerabilities hackers are seeking to exploit at a time when mobile security has come under increasing scrutiny.

A number of researchers have now picked up on a malicious version of a Google mobile security tool.

The genuine tool, designed to remove applications infected with the Droid Dream malware, was only released in the last week.

The Trojanised version does not appear on the official Android Market, but can be found on third-party app stores.

Symantec found the apps could be used to change access point name settings on devices, although the developers did not create a flawless piece of malicious kit.

"Our overall analysis of this threat has shown it to be a potentially worrying threat," Symantec researcher Mario Ballano said in a blog post.

"However, the threat's perpetrators have failed to fully implement all of the functionality within the infected applications, thereby lessening its potential impact as a threat."

Featured Resources

BIOS security: The next frontier for endpoint protection

Today’s threats upend traditional security measures

Download now

The role of modern storage in a multi-cloud future

Research exploring the impact of modern storage in defining cloud success

Download now

Enterprise data protection: A four-step plan

An interactive buyers’ guide and checklist

Download now

The total economic impact of Adobe Sign

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by Adobe Sign

Download now

Recommended

8 of the most secure web browsers
web browser

8 of the most secure web browsers

25 Sep 2020
Your essential guide to internet security
Security

Your essential guide to internet security

23 Sep 2020
How to enable private browsing on any device
privacy

How to enable private browsing on any device

22 Sep 2020
Third-party apps are tracking your WhatsApp activity
social media

Third-party apps are tracking your WhatsApp activity

21 Sep 2020

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
Google removes 17 apps infected with evasive ‘Joker’ malware
malware

Google removes 17 apps infected with evasive ‘Joker’ malware

28 Sep 2020