The security of the Mac platform has been rocked after a hacker cracked it in just ten seconds.


At CanSecWest's PWN2OWN contest, Charlie Miller, a principal analyst at Independent Security Evaluators, improved his time of hacking a Mac in two minutes from a year ago to just ten seconds this year with a separate remote-execution exploit.

Two weeks ago, Miller predicted that Safari running on the Mac would be the first to fall and he reported how he had managed to hack the Mac directly to Apple. Miller walked off with a $5,000 cash prize and the MacBook he hacked.


He confirmed that he had researched and written the exploit before he arrived at the challenge, and said: “I can't talk about the details of the vulnerability, but it was a Mac, fully patched, with Safari, fully patched. It probably took five or 10 seconds. I gave them the link, they clicked on it, and that was it. I did a few things to show that I had full control of the Mac.”


The PWN2OWN rules stated that the researcher could provide a URL that hosted his or her exploit, replicating the common hacker tactic of enticing users to malicious sites where they are infected with malware.