Apple Smartphone Lacks Security? iPhone Hacked / Cracked in 20 Seconds? The Whole Story

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
By OP Editor

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Myth: Apple iPhone Hacked in 20 Seconds

The exploit was prepared ahead of time, it didn’t take only 20 seconds to write the exploit. Instead, it took weeks to prepare. Thus, saying iPhone was “hacked in 20 seconds” is misleading. It’s like claiming writing Mac OS X in 30 seconds because that’s how long it took Mac OS X to boot up.

Myth: Apple iPhone First to Be Hacked

Security experts: nothing in the world is 100% secure. That means pretty much everything at this security contest will be hacked.

Everbody knows that successful hacking of Microsoft Windows / Internet Explorer is to be expected (happens everyday in the real wold); therefore, exploits of Microsoft software will not gain many headlines.

However, Apple products are known to suffer almost no real life exploits. With that in mind, the Pwn2Own organizers scheduled Apple iPhone and Safari first in the contest, because it’ll get much more press coverage (instead of the business as usual reaction if a Microsoft product is hacked “first”).

Here’s the Pwn2Own 2010 contest schedule:

First Day Time Slots, almost half Apple iPhone Safari, Pwn2Own 2010, CanSecWest

The 3 day long Pwn2Own 2010 contest scheduled iPhone to the 1st and 8th slot of the day, Apple Safari browser second and third slot of the day. Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7 is the fourth and fifth slot.

Yellow journalism reports “Safari on Mac OS X was the first to fall.” Ignoring the fact that other browsers were not scheduled until later in the day.

Contest Bias Against Apple?

Out of 8 slots (total of 9 but #6 was “?” and later removed) of the first Pwn2Own day, the contest leans disproportionately toward Apple products.

First Day Contest Time Allocation:

  • 50% Apple iPhone / Safari
  • 25% Microsoft Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8
  • 12.5% Nokia
  • 12.5% Mozilla Firefox 4

Seems like the Pwn2Own contest organizer wants the “Apple hacked” headlines, as the following products are scheduled no time on the first day:

  • Not scheduled: Google Chrome
  • Not scheduled: RIM BlackBerry
  • Not scheduled: Motorola Droid / Nexus One (running Google Android)
  • Not scheduled: Linux (missing from the contest)
  • Not scheduled: Windows Mobile (missing from the contest)

Perhaps Pwn2Own contest considers Google, RIM, Motorola, Linux, & Windows Mobile unimportant?

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Tags: Analysis, Apple, iPhone, Microsoft, Myths, Security, Windows

2 Responses to “Apple Smartphone Lacks Security? iPhone Hacked / Cracked in 20 Seconds? The Whole Story”

  1. Don

    A great and insightful post, and one that I quoted from on my own little blog – thanks!

    ["blogpsot" typo corrected to blogspot - OP Editor]


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