Mobile devices remain uncracked in competition

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A hacking contest organised at the CanSecWest has failed to crack any of the mobile devices on offer, despite managing to get through most mainstream browsers.

The pwn2own contest, organized by TippingPoint, was offering US$10,000 to everyone who managed to crack one of five mobile handsets via the browser, but no-one managed to pick up the prize.

“The mobile platform is limited by both memory and processing power. What that generally amounts to is that the vulnerabilities do exist, but actually exploiting them is complicated and unpredictable,” said Terri Forslof from TippingPoint.

“There are additional variables which can be show stoppers just between the hardware manufacturer’s themselves, or the carrier network the phone is associated with.”

The company has said it plans to run the same competition at the conference next year.

Earlier in the contest two hackers managed to get through fully patched Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari browsers using malware embedded in a web page. Google’s Chrome remained uncracked.

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