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Linux, Twitter, and Red Hat "Win" Big At Pwnie Awards 63

hugmeplz writes "The third annual Pwnie Awards took place last night at Black Hat in Las Vegas, and a full list of the winners has been posted. 'Most Epic Fail' honors went to the notorious Twitter/Google Apps hack from earlier this month that raised all sorts of questions about cloud computing security. Red Hat got skewered with the 'Mass 0wnage' award, also known as the 'Pwnie for Breaking the Internet,' for issuing a version of OpenSSH that left a backdoor open to hackers. The Linux development team earned 'Lamest Vendor Response' recognition for 'continually assuming that all kernel memory corruption bugs are only Denial-of-Service.' Naturally, Microsoft didn't slip past judges' eyes. Its vulnerability that enabled the Conficker worm to do its thing earned honors as the 'Most Overhyped Bug.' On the more positive side, the Pwnie Awards recognized security pros Wei Yongjun, sgrakkyu, Sebastian Kramer and Bernhard Mueller for accomplishments such as discovering bugs and demonstrating exploits. The Pwnie for Best Song went to Doctor Braid for his song Nice Report. Solar Designer snagged the Lifetime Achievement Award, for among other things, being the first to demonstrate heap buffer overflow exploitation, according to the Pwnie Awards Web site."
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Linux, Twitter, and Red Hat "Win" Big At Pwnie Awards

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  • First post (Score:3, Funny)

    by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Friday July 31, 2009 @08:16PM (#28904229) Homepage
    They're not really awards you brag about. So I won't be expecting victory speeches.
  • by JonJ ( 907502 )
    Has there been a mass breakout of rooted RHEL machines?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The word from Pyongyang hasn't come down yet.
    • No, but there -has- been a mass breakout of 'hacked' Google Apps / Twitter accounts. What's that, social engineering and guessing of weak passwords? Well, that doesn't have the same cachet as poking fun at newsworthy companies, so we'll just sensationalize it and give it a misleading title instead.

      -theGreater must be new here.

    • by Jerry ( 6400 )

      Ya, didn't you hear?

      They discovered a massive 1.9 MILLION zombie bot farm a few weeks ago. It was in all the news ..... Oh, wait, those zombies were all Windows boxes.

      Never mind.

  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Friday July 31, 2009 @08:30PM (#28904335) Homepage

    I read through to find out what had happened with Red Hat. I was surprised to see they were referencing the incident last year where some binaries were signed by an intruder, and went on to say that there was "little public information available" on incident. However I know Red Hat made several press releases, culminating with a full time line of the events. In fact, I seem to remember the problem having been due to someone's lax handling of their own secrets (keys/password) as opposed to an actual hack.

    • by rayvd ( 155635 )

      Yeah, I think it was an internal thing, and no packages were ever distributed. The steps they took were all precautionary (with as internal as it was they probably could have said nothing and no one would have been the wiser).

      But hey, fun to stir up FUD...

    • In fact, the twitter 'hack' was also just a case of human error. The kernel case is something I haven't heard of, so I'll assume the only "true" vulnerability here was windows' one used for conficker worm, which coincidentally was just minimized as 'overhyped'.
  • Cornflicker (Score:1, Informative)

    by westlake ( 615356 )

    Its vulnerability that enabled the Conficker worm to do its thing earned honors as the 'Most Overhyped Bug.'

    Cornflicker was a non-event for those who had installed the patch months before the worm began to do it's thing.

  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Friday July 31, 2009 @08:53PM (#28904501) Homepage Journal
    I would think that this award should have gone to 3drealms for their great job finally releasing Duke Nukem Forever and turning fantastic corporate profits against all odds. It was worth every moment of wait, suspense, and hype.
  • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Friday July 31, 2009 @08:53PM (#28904503)

    Help me out with this one: Do they go out of there way to sound like their fourteen years old cuz it's some kind tradition/secret handshake thing, or don't they realize how juvenile and goofy they sound?

    • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Friday July 31, 2009 @08:55PM (#28904525)

      "their way"... "like they're"... long week

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Think about it. These are BLACKHAT awards. Who are blackhats? People who want to break into other people's computers. Who idolizes a blackhat? Script kiddies. Those blackhats who are not felons, are not criminals waiting to be convicted, or criminals waiting to be caught, are just juvenile asses trying to emulate the "bad boys". Face it - these are the guys who really DO live in their mama's basements. Growing up and going off to jail is actually a form of upward mobility for them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by metrix007 ( 200091 )

        Don't be foolish. The world is not so simple, black and white as compared to the colours of imaginary hats. In the world we live in, there may be many justified reasons for breaking into a computer. Script kiddies don't just idolise blackhats, anyone interested in security research does, for coming up with the frequently ingenuous attacks they devise. Judging them for their actions is another issue altogether.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Flavio ( 12072 )

        Think about it. These are BLACKHAT awards. (...)

        Registration for Black Hat costs around $1500, and one of their major sponsors is Microsoft.

        Draw your own conclusions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Sadly, those are phrases used by "legitimate" "security" "professionals" these days.

      Bonus points for using the non-word 'cuz' and the easily-avoided error 'their' in your post complaining about the poor English of others.

    • I was going to write that maybe they don't care that they sound juvenile, because they're doing this as an internal thing, and not to please the world/the press or whatever. But actually, I disagree. I read TFA and they don't sound juvenile to me at all. They do use phrases like epic fail etc. but these are just part of internet culture at this point -- and they're used here sort of tongue-in-cheek, along with all of TFA, in fact (e.g. "Also known as Pwnie for Breaking the Internet."). On the other hand, th

    • by L7_ ( 645377 )

      Fourteen year olds aren't creative enough to make up those type of words. They are knowledgeable enough to pick up on them though, and re-use the extensions of human textual speech that security experts, hipsters, and 30 year old MMO veterans create.

      A lot of people that speak like that are adults. Everyone that makes up the memes are adults.

  • Missing award... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Friday July 31, 2009 @09:25PM (#28904745) Homepage Journal

    to the ones that hacked their web page and put that fake list of awards.

    Come on, "experts" that calls Linux a "vendor"? That called "overhyped" the bug that enabled Conflicker to do the biggest massive infection of PCs since 2003 [wikipedia.org]? Their link [mitre.org] to the "backdoored redhat openssh" (that was already discussed here that wasnt) actually links to an advisory about a Windows remote rpc vulnerability.

    Of course, the alternative is that their page is how it was meant to be, and in that case Hanlon would have the real explanation of what happened.

    • That called "overhyped" the bug that enabled Conflicker to do the biggest massive infection of PCs since 2003 [wikipedia.org]?.

      Conficker is interesting, because Microsoft actually had it patched pretty early (Oct 08), months before the spreading really became as massive as it became (Jan-Apr 09 and onwards). Meaning it's main vector and success factor was people who'd disabled automatic Windows Update. You could say that this lays the blame more with users than Microsoft (we usually do that when the same happens to Linux, Mac or Firefox or similar - "but they have patched that, quickly/long ago"). But more interestingly (or humorou

      • In my experience, most people who disable automatic on windows updates are people using bootleg copies of windows, because of WGA. You see: the guy has a patched WGA, and them decides to disable Automatic Updates for fear of having a new and improved WGA which will get him. Of course, nobody actually forces you to use windows unless you've bought a machine where it was bundled an paid as part of the price, so bootleg user well deserve it, as there are plenty of high quality open source and free-as-in-beer-
    • ... not to mention the childish misuse of "fail" as a noun.

  • Love the logo. (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by antdude ( 79039 )

    Pony vs. Pwnie. So do the winner get golden My Little Pony? :P

  • pwnies? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by timmarhy ( 659436 )
    the stupid name given to this event means they need to give themselfs their own fail award..
  • WTF is all the "Cheddar Bay" nonsense in this? ........"In the midst of all the Linux kernel security debates about exploiting NULL function pointer dereferences, Cheddar Bay, transparency regarding known or potential security issues, Cheddar Bay, and the protection afforded by LSMs running within an insecure kernel, Cheddar Bay, sometimes the very simple yet damaging vulnerabilities don't get nearly the attention they deserve. This is one such vulnerability."
  • Earlier this week twitter advised people who had used a certain app to change their passwords because the app may have been insecure. Then I went to the update password page and noticed that the new password is passed to twitter using http, not https like they do for the regular login.

  • by Tweenk ( 1274968 ) on Saturday August 01, 2009 @08:08AM (#28907843)

    What the hell. This looks like a troll event if there ever was one, and MS astroturfing as well.
    - Conficker bug 'overhyped'? Millions of PCs are infected, turned into zombies and/or crippled and that's 'overhyped'? The Kaminsky DNS bug would be a better candidate. This is just ridiculous.
    - Red Hat successfully recovers from losing a private key (the worst thing that can happen in any public key cryptography system) with little actual damage and they call it 'massive ownage'?
    - Kernel memory corruption is exploitable? I'm no kernel guru, but I think this is only possible in some rare cases, like when a dangling pointer will always point to a predictable offset from the return address on the stack, but in general it is not. On top of that it would be hard to develop such a bug into a local root exploit, because after the memory corruption the system will be unstable. This is similar to the null-dereference vulnerability in Mozilla which the reporter described as a stack-based buffer overflow to get extra publicity from people who don't know any better.

    Whoever they are they I'm not lending them much credibility.

  • If you read the descriptions, a lot of these are awarded based on the most sophisticated and technically interesting security holes found. I'll admit that the SCTP hole was interesting, even though I kind of wonder if there was ever a single instance of it being exploited in the wild. The place where I have to call BS is the RedHat package signing issue and the 'overhyped' Server service hole. There isn't really any evidence that anybody was affected by the signing key breech, so they're just assuming th

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