Hacker cracks Mac in two minutes flat

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Hacker cracks Mac in two minutes flat

A hacking competition at the CanSecWest security conference in Canada has seen a multitude of hacking techniques demonstrated that get through fully patched browsers.

Security researcher Charlie Miller won US$5,000 and a MacBook Pro after he successfully got through its Safari browser in under two minutes.

“Charlie Miller got the luck of the draw, and had the first time slot for the browser competition. His target- Safari on Mac OS X,” said Terri Forslof from network security firm TippingPoint, which runs the competition.

“Before I could even pull my camera out, it was over within 2 minutes - and Charlie (coincidentally also last year's first winner of the day) is now the proud owner of yet another MacBook, and $5,000 from the Zero Day Initiative.

A second contestant, a master’s student going under the name Nils, managed a similar trick with Safari but also managed to penetrate Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox browser using malware embedded in a web page.

He ended up winning $15,000 and three laptops for his efforts. He will also be attempting to perform a similar hack on Google’s Chrome browser.

So far attempts to crack mobile browsers, which comes with a prize of $10,000 per hack, have proved unsuccessful.

TippingPoint is also offering $5,000 prizes for the Most Interesting Browser flaw, Most Interesting Mobile Device Flaw, and Best in Show.

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