Mac OS X ‘unhacked’ over 24 hours and counting in genuine security challenge

In response to the woefully misleading ZDnet article, Mac OS X hacked under 30 minutes, by Munir Kotadia () the academic Mac OS X Security Challenge was launched yesterday morning by The University of Wisconsin’s Dave Schroeder. The ZDNet FUD piece failed to mention that local access was granted to the Mac OS X system and left some readers with the false impression that any Mac OS X machine connected to the Internet can be taken over in just 30 minutes. As Schroeder notes, the Mac OS X “machine was not hacked from the outside just by being on the Internet. It was hacked from within, by someone who was allowed to have a local account on the box. That is a huge distinction.”

So, with a real Mac OS X challenge sitting online, 30 minutes came and went, folks. Long ago. The Mac OS X remains “unhacked” more than 24 hours later.

More info here.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
University of Wisconsin launches bona fide Mac OS X Security Challenge – March 06, 2006
Mac OS X ‘hacked in under 30 minutes?’ Why Mac OS X security is all the rage recently – March 06, 2006
Spate of recent Mac security stories signal that Microsoft, others getting nervous – March 06, 2006
Apple Mac OS X clearly offers superior security over Microsoft Windows – March 02, 2006
Apple Mac OS X has a lot more vulnerabilities than Windows XP? – February 28, 2006
Enderle: Security vendors see Apple as next big opportunity – February 28, 2006
As Apple Mac grows in popularity, will security issues increase? – February 27, 2006
The Idiot’s Guide to Mac Viruses For Dummies 101 – February 24, 2006
Wired News: ‘Mac attack a load of crap’ – February 22, 2006
Report: Apple developing fix for automatic execution of shell scripts – February 21, 2006
Ars Technica: Fears over new Mac OS X ‘Leap-A’ trojan pointless – February 20, 2006
Atlanta Journal-Constitution asks: Is ‘Mac virus’ all just propaganda from Mac haters? – February 20, 2006
Mafiasoft: Microsoft to charge $50 per year for security service to protect Windows – February 07, 2006
ZDNet Australia publishes latest Mac OS X security FUD article – January 26, 2006 (Kotadia)
IDC: Apple Mac 2005 U.S. market share 4% on 32% growth year over year – January 20, 2006
Analysts: Apple Mac’s 5% market share glass ceiling set to shatter in 2006 – January 09, 2006
ZDNet Australia publishes latest Mac OS X security FUD article – September 09, 2005 (Kotadia)
Joke of the month: Gartner warns of Mac OS X ‘spyware infestation’ potential – March 30, 2005 (Kotadia)
Symantec warns about Mac OS X security threat – March 21, 2005 (Kotadia)


  1. Hacked or not, this sort of challenge good for Mac OS X. No hack means good press. A hack while someone is watching is good, too. A hole the community knows about can be addressed. Apple has a good track record along these lines. It’s a win/win.

  2. Ipod? We don’t need no steenking iPod! All I need is the OSX install CD so I can enable root user. Then it’s MINE.

    But yeah, an iPod, FW drive, hell, a USB drive would do it too.

    I saw that article on ZDNet yesterday, I couldn’t believe how lame it was, it had all the marks of Ballmer’s sweaty hands all over it…

  3. I agree with one of your claimed fixes.
    Please try this and post a reply Mr trains4m.
    Boot from a FireWire drive and then Get Info on the internal hard drive and select “Ignore permissions on this volume” and then copy whatever you want including the /private/var directory. You can also use DiskEditorX from Norton Utilities to find the hash or even over-write the hash

    By looking at a 10.2.8 Samba hash next to the new 10.3 hash it suddenly makes perfect sense if you claim to be a Mac expert.
    I anxiously await your results.

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