Here we are discussing once again of the Mobile Pwn2Own competition organized by Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) at the PacSec conference in Tokyo.
White hat hackers earned more than half a million dollars at Mobile Pwn2Own 2017 competition devising successfully exploits against popular smartphones running the latest versions of OSs.
Major vendors, including Apple, Google and Huawei released patches the night before the event started.
The exploits target browsers, short distance communications (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC), messaging, and baseband components in the mobile devices, including Samsung’s Galaxy S8, Apple’s iPhone 7 and Huawei’s Mate 9 Pro.
Participants earned a total of $350,000 for triggering vulnerabilities in Internet Browser on the Galaxy S8, Safari on the iPhone 7, Wi-Fi on the iPhone 7, and the baseband on the Mate 9 Pro.
“The first day of Mobile Pwn2Own 2017 has come to a close, and we’ve awarded a total of $350,000 and 55 Master of Pwn points. Today saw five successful attempts and two failed attempts as the ZDI program acquired 11 bugs for the Samsung Galaxy S8, Apple iPhone 7, and the Huawei Mate9 Pro.” states ZDI blog post.
There were also failures, for example the Tencent Keen Security Lab (@keen_lab) targeting the Samsung Internet Browser on the Samsung Galaxy S8 failed as they could not get their exploit chain to work within the allotted time.
Fortunately, the same team demonstrated a successful WiFi exploit on the Apple iPhone 7.
“They used a total of four bugs to gain code execution and escalate privileges to allow their rogue application to persist through a reboot. They earned $60,000 for the WiFi exploit and added $50,000 for the persistence bonus – a total of $110,000 and 11 Master of Pwn points. This screenshot may not look like much, but all it took was connecting to a WiFi network to get the “KeenLab” app to appear.” continues ZDI.
On the second day, experts with the MWR Labs earned $25,000 for hacking Google Chrome of the Mate 9 Pro via 5 logic flaws in Huawei apps that them to escape the browser sandbox and exfiltrate data.
MWR Labs hackers also earned $25,000 after exploiting 11 vulnerabilities across six different apps to hack Internet Browser on the Galaxy S8, they triggered the flaws to remotely execute arbitrary code and force sensitive data leakage.
A researcher from China-based Qihoo 360 (@mj0011sec) earned $20,000 for a partially successful exploit targeting the iPhone 7’s Wi-Fi component, later he was awarded another $25,000 for hacking Safari on the iPhone 7.
The total amount of money paid to participants at Mobile Pwn2Own 2017 was $495,000, The Tencent Keen Security Lab team obtained the highest number of Master of Pwn points.
The ZDI already reported to the vendor the details of the vulnerabilities exploited during the contest. Vendors have 90 days to release fixes before a limited advisory describing the flaws will be made public.