Web browsers Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox, along with Windows 8 and Java, have been exploited in the Pwn2Own hacking contest in Canada today.

Each attack at the CanSecWest competition used zero-day vulnerabilities on a fully patched Windows 7, 8 and OS X Mountain Lion operating system with default configurations.

Firefox was popped with a use-after-free vulnerability and a new technique that bypasses Address Space Layout Randomisation (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP) in Windows, Vupen said.

Windows 8 also fell to the same company, which cracked Microsoft's Surface Pro using two Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerabilities and a sandbox bypass.  

Java fell to Accuvant Labs' Josh Drake, Contextis' James Forshaw and Vupen that broke the platform by finding a heap overflow. 

MWRLabs researchers Nils and Jon Butler chalked up a reliable sandbox bypass exploit against zero-day vulnerabilities in Chrome. The attack was made by pointing the browser running on an updated Windows operating system to a malicious web page that granted code execution in the sandboxed renderer process.

The pair also found a kernel vulnerability that granted elevated privileges arbitrary commands execution outside of the sandbox with system privileges.

“We were able to exploit the first vulnerability in multiple ways, allowing us to leak the addresses of several objects in memory, calculate the base address of certain system dlls, read arbitrary data, and gain code execution,” MWR said.

“This allowed us to bypass ALSR by leaking the base address of a dll, and to bypass DEP by reading that dll's .text segment into a JavaScript string, allowing us to dynamically calculate the addresses of Return-Oriented Programming (ROP) gadgets.”

A wide range of cash prizes were on offer for the first exploit of browsers and software. Exploit techniques and bugs were responsibly disclosed to affected vendors.