Pwn2Own hacker contest to target Apple’s iPhone

“Hackers and computer security experts gathering on March 18 in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the third annual Pwn2Own contest will be targeting five smartphones: an Apple iPhone, a Research in Motion BlackBerry and phones running on Google’s Ambian, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Nokia’s Symbian operating systems,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

MacDailyNews Take: Google’s Ambian? Freudian slip much, Phil? Don’t worry, Android makes us sleepy, too.

Elmer-DeWitt continues, “The contest, sponsored by 3Com’s (COMS) TippingPoint computer security division, will award $10,000 prizes to anyone who can break into one of the phones and “pwn” it — hacker and Internet-gamer slang meaning to conquer or gain ownership. The smartphones themselves will be awarded as prizes to whomever cracks them first.”

MacDailyNews Take: In other words, everybody will be going for the iPhone.

Elmer-DeWitt continues, “Under the rules of the contest, the organizers will reduce the difficulty each day that the smartphones are able fend off the attacks. The first day the phones with be ‘raw metal,’ with no applications installed, forcing contestants to use Wi-Fi or network exploits. On the second day, the rules will be relaxed to allow the applications that come installed with the phones, including e-mail and Web browsers, but no third-party apps or downloads.”

“A second Pwn2Own contest track will pit hackers against browsers, with $5,000 prizes for contestants who can break the security of one of these five Web browser configurations: Internet Explorer 8, Firefox or Chrome installed on a Sony (SNE) Vaio running Windows 7 as well as Safari or Firefox installed on a Macbook running Mac OS X,” Elmer-DeWitt reports. “The Pwn2Own contest is run in conjunction with the annual CanSecWest security conference, now in its 10th year.”

More info in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JES42” for the heads up.]

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