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Chrome Security IT

Chrome Hacked In 5 Minutes At Pwn2Own 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-took-so-long? dept.
Skuto writes "After offering a total prize fund of up to $1M for a successful Chrome hack, it seems Google got what it wanted (or not!). No more than 5 minutes into the Pwn2Own cracking contest team Vupen exploited 2 Chrome bugs to demonstrate a total break of Google's browser. They will win at least 60k USD out of Google's prize fund, as well as taking a strong option on winning the overall Pwn2Own prize. It also illustrates that Chrome's much lauded sandboxing is not a silver bullet for browser security."
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Chrome Hacked In 5 Minutes At Pwn2Own

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  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:08PM (#39282815) Homepage Journal

    I think it's pretty clear they had their exploits worked out and ready to go for some time, and were just waiting for the contest to start to unleash them.

    Still, kudos on what has to be almost world-record-time penetration of a "secure" system.

    • by SpanglerIsAGod (2052716) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:12PM (#39282843)
      I think that's how most of the successful hacks have been going in this contest. Someone finds a few vulnerabilities, hordes them until the contest, and then goes public with them.

      I'm not sure that I like that, but I guess it gets some vulnerabilities fixed.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:13PM (#39282849)

      I think all of the Pwn2Own exploits are discovered beforehand and then shown at this event. They could report it and get sued... or they could hold on to it, hope its not patched out or publicized and grab money and swag.

      • I don't see how anyone can complain. Either way the vulnerability isn't shared with the public. The only downside I see is that between one security resercher finding the vulnerability, and the demonstration of it at the contest, there's a chance of another less noble person finding the same vulnerability and exploiting it for nefarious reasons.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Every major sports team comes into the contest with a scouting report and a plan to win.

      These guys did their scouting and executed their plan.

      Well done !

    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:15PM (#39282869)

      I think it's pretty clear they had their exploits worked out and ready to go for some time, and were just waiting for the contest to start to unleash them.

      I think it's pretty clear this has always been the case in these pwn2own contests, whether the browser is Safari, Internet Explorer, or Chrome. This latest crack just makes it a little more obvious that it's a question of motivation more than anything else - and money is a powerful motivator, probably more so than notoriety (in sufficient quantities, anyway).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's pretty obvious how the tone of the first handful of up modded posts differs from when IE or Safari are first down.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:48PM (#39283057)

        I think it's pretty clear this has always been the case in these pwn2own contests, whether the browser is Safari, Internet Explorer, or Chrome. This latest crack just makes it a little more obvious that it's a question of motivation more than anything else - and money is a powerful motivator, probably more so than notoriety (in sufficient quantities, anyway).

        And is that such a bad thing? For the white hats, the money's just a bonus.

        But $1M is pretty cheap to increase the odds that those who might otherwise be tempted to join the black hats can still gain public recognition, still make some money, and because their hat can remain white, they don't even have to worry about prosecution.

        In exchange for the coin, developers get responsible disclosure of lots of bugs (that might have otherwise remained under wraps, or might have been discovered first by black hats) in a controlled environment.

        Win-win situation in my books.

      • by eulernet (1132389) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:34AM (#39285459)

        This latest crack just makes it a little more obvious that it's a question of motivation more than anything else - and money is a powerful motivator, probably more so than notoriety (in sufficient quantities, anyway).

        No, it just proves that when you put enough money, professional crackers are attracted.

        There is an article where Charlie Miller (winner of past contests) explains why he won't compete:
        https://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/charlie-miller-skipping-pwn2own-as-new-rules-change-hacking-game/10554 [zdnet.com]

        On the contrary, I think that money attracts professionals, and discourages all other people, who may have interesting hacks but know that they cannot compete against professionals.
        In short, it encourages people who came to win, and discourages people who came to participate.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It also illustrates that Chrome's much lauded sandboxing is not a silver bullet for browser security.

      There is not and never has been a "silver bullet" for anything much less security. Stop acting surprised.

      I mean I could understand it if there ever once was and now you want to have that again. But there never was. There isn't. There's not going to be. There is only hard work and diligence and learning from experience. Stop acting so shocked you dumb fucks! Seriously.

    • Can someone please explain which OS it was running, which version, any AV, you know, more details than a fricking tweet? I know we don't generally actually READ TFA but hell this might as well have been "Chrome got pwned by a man doing a thing" for all the lack of details!

      Now as for Chrome getting hacked well anything CAN be hacked if you have enough of a reason to go after it and i think Google made themselves a nice juicy target on purpose to get the data before any blackhats so kudos to them and the hackers. i know anecdotes aren't data but at least for myself and my customers and family the combo of Comodo Dragon (Chromium based) with either Avast Free or Comodo IS and Win 7 has been pretty much hack AND idiot proof, no small task. Just for shits and giggles i tried to infect a machine I was gonna wipe anyway, threw it at every topsite and crapsite and junksite I could find and...nothing, nada zip zilch. of course that wasn't just Chromium protecting it it also had Win 7 and low rights mode with DEP and ASLR, it had Comodo SecureDNS filtering known malware dumps, it had the sandboxing that is built into Avast and Comodo IS (tried both to make sure and they seem about equal on everything from protection to RAM usage so its more a taste thing or if you need to protect a business as Comodo is free for business use) and finally ABP blocked many of the ads that are the biggest source of malware, at least from what I've seen.

      So a little more info would be nice, I'd like to know if there is something I need to tweak in my system or not.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @11:49PM (#39283743)

        saying "I know anecdotes aren't date" followed by "but insert anecdote here" doesn't excuse you from confirmation bias. There is no evidence presented by you that your practises wouldn't keep you just as safe with Opera or Gecko-based browsers.

      • by westyvw (653833)

        I agree with the post that I want to know what the expoloit was.
        However I must say that you sure work hard to try and keep your computer safe from the internetz. Is windows land really that bad that you have to go to all that effort just to feel free to browse the web?

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Uhhh...what's hard? Win 7 updates itself, both Comodo and Avast (I was using Avast but lately I've gone back to Comodo as i like its tougher sandboxing) have silent installers, frankly the entire system takes less than 15 minutes of actual time to install. And once installed its pretty much walk away as everything is automated, no need for input from the user at all. Frankly its one of the easiest systems ever and certainly easier than constantly doing forum hunts when Linux craps on its own drivers during

      • The whole concept of PWNing is that someone comes up with a way to circumvent the security built into that system. Sure, multiple layers like you describe will hopefully catch the intruder at some other point, where they try to do something that triggers an alarm. However, there is nothing you can do against zero-day vulnerabilities, other than multilayer your security and set up proper alerting.

        People smart enough to find a zero day in a common and well tested browser, tend to be smart enough to write "p
    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      What, you can't disassemble and grok 60-some MB in 5 minutes? Wimp.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Of course. Finding exploits takes time and dedication (and possibly luck: looking at the correct piece of the code). Not likely a new exploit is discovered within the competition itself.

  • 5 minutes? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:10PM (#39282833)

    I guess this means they went in knowing exactly what they were going to do. This means that it has been known for a while which means there could be many more people who know and are exploiting this.

    • Re:5 minutes? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by v1 (525388) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:23PM (#39282911) Homepage Journal

      Nobody shows up at one of these contests and cracks their knuckles and starts looking for holes. They always show up with a premade bag of polished and practiced zero-days.

      Funny though how they get so much media attention every time this happens OMG safari got owned in six minutes! Chrome got hacked in 5 minutes! They must beg gods! no, not really.

      There's really no reason they couldn't be doing this once a month really. I'd wager that the winners this round had 4-6 different exploits in their bag of tricks, and are strategically submitting them.

      It would be in google's better interest to hold such contests monthly with smaller prizes. It'd just be paying for bugs, but the way they're doing it here is just moving a lot slower than it really should.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        All the browsers except for IE pay for bug bounties...

        It is probably more the fame of winning the event...

        • Re:5 minutes? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:53PM (#39283413)

          That depends how much they pay. Google, for example, pays the cute but relatively small sum of $3133.70 for the most severe bugs. These Vupen guys could have reported their bugs and pocketed at most ~$6k (maybe less, if Google failed to recognize the severity of the bugs), or they could do as they did, keep the bugs to themselves until Pwn2Own came around, and earn ten times that amount.

          I doubt they care so much about the fame. The extra $54k, on the other hand...

          • by westyvw (653833)

            A full Chrome exploit will net you $60,000 from Google. They now have 3 pay ranges and offer substantialy more then they used to. I do think they upped this price after they pulled out of pwn2own in February.

          • by Krneki (1192201)

            That depends how much they pay. Google, for example, pays the cute but relatively small sum of $3133.70 for the most severe bugs. These Vupen guys could have reported their bugs and pocketed at most ~$6k (maybe less, if Google failed to recognize the severity of the bugs), or they could do as they did, keep the bugs to themselves until Pwn2Own came around, and earn ten times that amount.

            I doubt they care so much about the fame. The extra $54k, on the other hand...

            I fear that the black market pays more for this 0-day exploits.

    • Re:5 minutes? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shavano (2541114) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:55PM (#39283101)

      And that brings up an even more troubling thought. Are the pwn2own incentives creating a perverse incentive to conceal vulnerabilities?

      I think so. If this is how Google will find and fix its flaws, exploiters are basically safe between events.

      If you want flaws and exploits identified and fixed fast, pay on a first-to identify basis and never announce what the exploits found were. Just quietly fix them as fast as you can and distribute patches regularly.

      • You don't understand software. Fixing things quietly is just as good as announcing them for a project that develops in the open.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...now it seems you can also pwn2own google!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:17PM (#39282873)

    This isn't Swordfish. They had plenty of time to prepare their attack.

    It's impressive they exploited Chrome. But the preparation took more than 5 minutes.

  • by Bananasdoom (1701440) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:22PM (#39282901)
    Handing out 2mill of prize money is still more cost effective that standard R&D, you get more professionals testing it for the chance of wining some prize money than Google could ever employ and the people they chose not to employ.
    • by Shavano (2541114)

      No it's not. It's Ann incentive to create and CONCEAL cracks while drawing attention to Ans glorifying crackers.

    • by gweihir (88907) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:56PM (#39283431)

      Unfortunately, wrong. First, you get only as much of their vulnerability stock that they need to maximize their profit. Then, you do only get what was easiest to find for them. A real security review looks at architecture, design, coding style and other things as well, which are completely absent at these competitions.

      Basically, this is a show with very little actual security benefits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:27PM (#39282927)

    The posting says that one of the teams in Pwn2Own will win at least USD 60K from Google. But Google aren't putting up any Pwn2Own prize money. Last I heard Google are running their own competition with different rules. The participants in Pwn2Own may well not enter the Google competition because their exploit (if it escapes the sandbox) will be worth much more than USD 60K. My understanding is that the Pwn2Own entrants are not required to reveal their sandbox exploits before receiving the prize money because sandbox exploits are worth much more than the prize money that is available while Google will require full disclosure before handing over their money.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @09:59PM (#39283139)

      The Pwn2Own twitter account actually talks quite a bit about this.

      Additionally, it appears that Vupen has already announced they won't be participating in Google's competition.

      • by deroby (568773)

        So basically they simply announced that they have found a way to work around chrome's security system; won a competition doing so (including fame & prize money) bringing them lots of media coverage (read: free advertising). And now they simply have to wait for some 'clients' to come up with more than 60k for its source, I'm sure their address is on the pown2own website.

        Seriously, they might just as well put it on ebay if you think about it, opening bid of 59.999$.

  • I haven't used Chrome for months. It was behaving errratically and made me nervous during a yime I was looking for a secure browser out of immediate necessity. I eventually managed to use an old version of firefox portable that settled things. I forgot pwn2own was even happening by the time I noticed Chrome zipped in my archives folder and deleted it as useless just two days ago.

    But this stuff has me wondering: suppose this goes on and Chrome eventually has all of the exploits worked out of it. A theoretica

    • by Anonymous Coward

      All code libraries etc makes assumptions about what sorts of data they will handle. The problem is that these browsers (and all software larger than Hello World) is so complicate that it is impossible for a developer to anticipate every interaction and use every api exactly as it was intended in all possible cases. In essence in order for there to be no exploits introduced when a new feature is added, that feature and every possible interaction of that feature with every other feature must be vetted.
      Sayin

  • by cpu6502 (1960974)

    It doesn't have any of those annoying Google spying/tracing code built-in.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Modded Troll??? Why? I was stating a truth (I don't use Google Chrome; I use the open source chromium).

      Chromium LINK - http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/Internet/Browsers/Portable-Google-Chrome-Chromium.shtml [softpedia.com]

      • by Calos (2281322)

        Yeah, that truth, that's not why people were modding your post. I think you know that.

        And people are probably modding it troll because most of us haven't seen any legitimate proof of these claims. Most of us see a fair amount to the contrary.

        By all means, if you know something and can show it or have some links with substantiated evidence - please post them, so people can make the choice to switch if they desire.

        Otherwise, all you're doing is raising the noise floor. And moderators are seeking to lower it

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          If you haven't seen the reports of Google tracking users, even to the point of hacking Apple Safari and Microsoft Explorer's "private" modes to track them, then you have not been paying attention. It's common knowledge now among tech professionals.

          • by Calos (2281322)

            If it's such common knowledge, surely it will be easy for you to provide a credible link. You could have provided several in the time it took you to write a snarky, arrogant reply. But you didn't.

            No, I will not accept your appeal to your ethos and authority as a valid argument.

            Because the truth is - I don't ask because I'm wholly ignorant on the subject. I actually pay pretty close attention to this kind of thing. I know there are privacy concerns with Chrome, but I also know that the things that were conc

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by causality (777677)

        Modded Troll??? Why? I was stating a truth (I don't use Google Chrome; I use the open source chromium).

        Chromium LINK - http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/Internet/Browsers/Portable-Google-Chrome-Chromium.shtml [softpedia.com]

        The one time the Slashdot groupthink is actually against Open Source code and privacy and software freedom ... is when it makes a statement against Google.

        Since this particular statement cuts to the core of how Google makes its money, namely through acquiring marketing data from mostly hapless and unsuspecting users who have no idea how much information they are "contributing", and wouldn't if they did, it's too fundamental of a comment to be tolerated by the fanboys.

        So you're being punished by the mo

    • Using very strict judgement, uncharacteristic to Slashdot, the parent may be off topic, but Score:0, Troll? I guess mods woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Oh come on, we all know Google is perfect and can do no wrong and anyone that says anything negative against them is clearly a paid shill.

    • Googlers should know that expressing disagreement via mod points is not Googly. Or is it now?

      • Googlers should know that expressing disagreement via mod points is not Googly. Or is it now?

        Oh right, I forgot, the "don't be evil" already left the building.

  • Tell me that Google couldn't do a better job than that.
    5 minutes? What sort of coding knowledge does Google have anyway.

    • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:35PM (#39283319)

      Tell me that Google couldn't do a better job than that.
      5 minutes? What sort of coding knowledge does Google have anyway.

      Not as much as the combined wisdom of the community, a fact that permeates slowly through some of the thicker skulls in the land of Oz.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      The time is completely irrelevant. These are pre-packaged exploits that run as fast as possible.

      • by ais523 (1172701)

        Well, it's probably an indication of whether the exploit is deterministic or probabilistic (probabilistic exploits will need more tries on average before they work). Also, if it's a buffer overflow, the size of the buffer it's overflowing (if it needs a lot of data to overflow, the browser will take a while to download it).

        Not a good indicator of how difficult the exploit was to find, though.

        • by gweihir (88907)

          Indeed. A very simple to find one with a large random component could run forever, while a really hard to find one may simply change one flag by buffer overflow in a microsecond.

    • by Tim C (15259)
      They didn't hack/crack Chrome in 5 minutes, they turned up with a pre-tested bag of tricks and took 5 minutes to run them.
  • by flappinbooger (574405) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:29PM (#39283281) Homepage
    So I run chrome inside of a sandbox so I can be sandboxed while Chrome's sandbox is being hacked.
  • Nice salary (Score:5, Funny)

    by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:30PM (#39283289)

    That's $12 million/hour, more than Larry and Sergey combined :-)

    • I get paid $26 million/hour. If I only look at the 1 second it takes for my pay to appear in my account every fortnight.
  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:50PM (#39283397)

    5 minutes into the Pwn2Own cracking contest team Vupen exploited 2 Chrome bugs [twitter.com] to demonstrate a total break of Google's browser.

    Thanks for linking to a complete useless, pointless and content-free Twitter post.

    • Thanks for linking to a complete useless, pointless and content-free Twitter post.

      I thought redundancy was picked up by the lameness filter.

  • by xandroid (680978) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @11:16PM (#39283545) Homepage Journal

    Are there any details on the exploit beyond "Code execution and sandbox escape (medium integrity process resulted)" [twitter.com]?

  • What if Google set up a market protocol to buy Chrome bugs? $1k each, with strict disclosure and delivery terms. We might just deplete the entire Chinese exploit arsenal in 3 months... Or at least boost the knowledge-base of Chrome using CS students everywhere.
  • It also illustrates that Chrome's much lauded sandboxing is not a silver bullet for browser security."

    When I made a comment a few weeks back that the fact that Chrome could be installed without admin privileges is a huge security hole, I was told by the "experts" on here that because Chrome was sandboxed, my comment was completely without merit.

    Repeat after me: there is no such thing as a secure application. Given enough time, someone, somewhere, will find a way to circumvent any security you may
  • Actual corrected headline. Please stop with the sensationalist headlines about hacking. The only number that matters is how long it took to find the exploits and to package them into an attack vector versus the reward from Google.

    There are virtually no applications that will survive for more than a few minutes against a 0day when the attacker is given sufficient capability to execute an attack.

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