Zynamics GmbH Security Researchers Win the “iPhone” Section of the Renowned PWN2OWN Contest at CanSecWest in Vancouver, Canada

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Security researchers Vincenzo Iozzo from Zynamics GmbH and Ralf-Philipp Weinmann from the University of Luxembourg recently won the "iPhone" section of the renowned PWN2OWN contest in Vancouver, Canada.

Security researchers Vincenzo Iozzo from Zynamics GmbH and Ralf-Philipp Weinmann from the University of Luxembourg recently won the "iPhone" section of the renowned PWN2OWN contest in Vancouver, Canada. The contest pits the world's leading security researchers against the latest versions of common operating systems and platforms.

In 2009, researchers failed to compromise the iPhone, confounding general expectations. This year, Iozzo and Weinmann had to put in extra effort to bypass the "code signing" and data execution prevention (DEP) technologies that prevent arbitrary code from running on the phone as well as defeat straightforward exploitation of buffer and heap overflow bugs. In order to achieve this result, they chained existing code bits in a technique commonly known as "return-into-libc" or "return-oriented-programming".

It is the first time that this technique has been publicly demonstrated on a real-world telephone. The attack allowed them to execute code on the iPhone when a user visits a malicious website. The demonstrated attack code steals the SMS database from the phone, albeit other attack payloads are easily possible.

The organizers of the contest will communicate the details of the attack to the vendors and will not make the details of the attack public untill the vendors can properly patch it.

Vincenzo Iozzo's research was supported by zynamics GmbH (http://www.zynamics.com), the leader in advanced reverse engineering and malware classification tools.

Ralf-Philipp Weinmann's research was done in the framework of the Embedded Systems Security (ESS) project, supported by the Laboratory of Algorithmics, Cryptology and Security (LACS) at the University of Luxembourg (lacs.uni.lu).

References:
http://blog.zynamics.com/2010/03/24/ralf-philipp-weinmann-vincenzo-iozzo-own-the-iphone-at-pwn2own/

http://dvlabs.tippingpoint.com/blog/2010/02/15/pwn2own-2010

About Zynamics GmbH

Zynamics is a leader in providing solutions to address the growing problem of analyzing, categorizing and fighting malware. Their customers include some of the largest commercial and government organizations in the world, such as EADS, German BSI and Verisign. Their products, BinDiff, BinNavi and VxClass are used by advanced reverse engineering teams worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.zynamics.com

The Zynamics VxClass of automated malware analysis products is available in North America via Mansfield Sales Partners. For more information on Mansfield Sales Partners, please visit http://www.mansfieldsp.com

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Sabine Arndt-Ellerhold
Zynamics GmbH
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