Every Smartphone OS Endures Pwn2Own Unhacked

Illustration for article titled Every Smartphone OS Endures Pwn2Own Unhacked

After Safari was busted in 10 seconds at the Pwn2Own hacking competition, you'd think puny smartphones wouldn't stand a chance. But you'd be wrong!

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Every smartphone OS up for total destruction—iPhone, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android and BlackBerry—made it through the competition unscathed. Not because they're inherently more secure. It's just because their puny processing power and memory make things like the 10-second Safari hack harder to do, even though the exploit is totally there.

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Another reason is that every phone has a unique carrier and OS version situation, which made it harder for researchers to come with exploits—for instance, one crafted for the Storm, which wasn't in the competition, actually didn't work on the Bold. So the multiplicity of phones out there is actually a good thing security-wise, though it makes more monolithic platforms, like the iPhone a more attractive target—kinda like Windows' juggernaut-size makes it a bigger target for exploits than Mac or Linux. That said, I don't think the survival rate will be so great next year. [Computerworld via Slashdot]

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DISCUSSION

You have to consider the fact that hacking a cell phone is not nearly as useful as hacking an actual computer. Perhaps that will change as they think of ways to use that connection for evil, but presently, I think most hackers would prefer to keep their focus on desktops and laptops. We will see if that changes next year.