It took a while longer but Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 did not survive the hacker onslaught at this year’s CanSecWest Pwn2Own contest.
A security researcher named “Nils” (he declined to provide his full name) performed a clean drive-by download attack against the world’s most widely used browser to take full control of a Sony Vaio machine running Windows 7.
He won a cash prize and got to keep the hardware. Details of the vulnerability, which was described by contest sponsor TippingPoint ZDI as a “brilliant IE8 bug!” are being kept under wraps.
Several members of Microsoft’s security response team were on hand to witness the successful exploit.
“Nils” also scored a clean hit against Apple’s Safari (he was the second hacker to exploit Safari) and, later in the afternoon, he exploited a Firefox zero-day flaw to claim the trifecta.