Apple MacBooks hold strong, remain unhacked after first day of $10,000 ‘Hack a Mac’ challenge

Apple Store“Two tricked-out MacBook laptops have survived the first day of a ‘PWN to OWN’ contest that dared hackers to take control of default Mac OS X installations,” Ryan Naraine blogs for ZDNet.

“The contest started around midday Thursday, the second day of the CanSecWest conference here and triggered interest from hackers in attendance… Organizers say they have seen ‘some activity’ on the network set up with the two new MacBooks — a 17″ and a 15″ — but details remained scarce when the day ended,” Naraine reports. “To win, the attacker must commandeer the machine and find a file with instructions on how to SSH to a server to authenticate the hijack.”

Naraine reports, “On the second day, the barrier will be lowered a bit and the attackers will be allowed to put exploit code on a special wiki and launch drive-by exploits on the Mac’s built-in Safari browser. If the machines survive this level, the attacker will be allowed to connect to over USB or Bluetooth.”

Full article here.
If they really want to give away the MacBooks and the $10,00 prize, on the third day they ought to install Boot Camp and Windows on them. It would probably take about 10 minutes to find a winner.

Related articles:
CanSecWest sweetens ‘Hack a Mac’ contest pot to $10,000 – April 20, 2007
CanSecWest to hold ‘PWN to OWN’ contest: pits Apple MacBook Pros vs. hackers – March 26, 2007
Microsoft’s oft-delayed, much-pared-down Windows Vista hacked at Black Hat – August 07, 2006
Microsoft publicity stunt asks hackers to attack Windows Vista – August 04, 2006
Apple Mac remains ‘unhacked’ as University of Wisconsin’s Mac OS X Security Challenge ends – March 08, 2006
Mac OS X ‘unhacked’ over 24 hours and counting in genuine security challenge – March 07, 2006


  1. its just sad they have to ‘lower the barriers’ so they can actually hijack the macbook (pro, since its a 15” and 17”). Yea i can’t wait for the headlines ‘Macbook hijacked!!’ cause everyone in the windows world won’t take the time to read how they ‘lowered the barriers’ to even get the job done. Friggin idiots.

  2. I agree. Why are they lowering the barriers? Not very realistic, and in the end whatever non-mac-enthusiast press that picks it up will do their typical half-assed job of fact finding. Waiting for it…

  3. The stunt is sponsored by M$. Bill Gates is pissed because everyone is laughing at him for saying Macs are compromised every day.

    The rigged rules drop the Mac’s defences until an attack is successful. Then Gates can say, “Neener, neener. I was right.”

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