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Safari® and Internet Explorer® hacked at Pwn2Own contest

Pwn2Own is a hacking contest sponsored by the HP Digital Vaccine Labs (HP DVL), which is a research organization specializing in the analysis of security vulnerabilities. The objective of the contest is to help vendors develop patches for better security, as well as filters for better customer protection. HP’s Converged Infrastructure focuses on advanced data protection in the integration of data center technologies towards improved flexibility and scalability, in the cloud computing world.

In a statement, Dan Holden, director of HP DVL, said that sponsoring the Pwn2Own contest for the fifth consecutive year enables HP to remain on the leading edge of the security industry. This helps them to offer clients unique protection against malicious attacks. This year, the Pwn2Own contest covered Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome as well as 4 mobile devices, including the Dell Venue Pro, Apple iPhone, Blackberry 9800 and Nexus S.

Interestingly the Pwn2Own contest, found its beginnings to challenge the fact that Apple’s products were immune to viruses and other computer attacks, way back in 2007. The CanSecWest computer security conference decided to host a hacking contest to prove that Apple products are also vulnerable. A cash prize of $10,000 was on offer plus a MacBook for any hacker who could break into a new fully patched MacBook. Vulnerabilities so found in this contest would be provided with all details to the manufacturer / vendor to develop the required security patches to take care of the same.

The 2008 contest had three targets – a MacBook Air running Leopard OS, a laptop running Windows Vista and a laptop running Ubuntu Linux. This time the MacBook and Windows Vista were hacked, keeping the Ubuntu intact. The 2009 contest had one more addition, namely the smartphones. Here, the Mac OS was exploited through both, Safari and Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer 8 on Windows Vista also, but the smartphones remained unaffected.

2010 saw Safari running Snow Leopard on the Mac fail, Mozilla Firefox on Windows 7 also failed, and Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) on Windows 7 was also exploited. The only browser that was not defeated was the Google Chrome. The iPhone again using Safari was also hacked. All this over the years proved that the Mac OS X, although being secure, is safer but not really any more secure than the Windows OS.

The 2011 Pwn2Own contest again saw the Apple Safari browser, and the IE 8, getting hacked. The Safari on a fully patched Mac OS X 10.6.6 MacBook was hacked. IE 8 on a 64-bit Windows 7 Service Pack 1 using three separate vulnerabilities also went down. The Google Chrome OS hacker scheduled to exploit the CR 48 Chrome OS Notebook did not show up at the venue.

In the smartphone category, the iPhone 4 and the RIM Blackberry Torch 9800 succumbed to the hackers’ onslaught. The contest seems to be an interesting venture – testing the hacker, providing the vulnerability to the manufacturer, and making the IT world more secure.

Top 5 Windows® Phone 7 based smartphones

With rapidly changing technology, several new smartphones have been launched. Remember the launch of color mobile phones? It was really a great thing to talk while moving along. After that it has been a long time and there are different gadgets that have made it possible for you to get the picture of the person you are talking. Since then has been getting more advanced in terms of specifications. There was a time when mobile phones were used to make call and receive calls, sending SMS and receiving as well. Now it is time of mobile phones that are really great because they are able to execute all the work you do on your personal computer. It is all possible because of the advent of the Nano technology. Now phones are coming with Windows operating system. Microsoft has launched the Windows Phone 7 operating system for mobiles.

First in the list is Dell Venue Pro. This cell phone has all the features that make it possible for you to work on all the office documents. It is all possible because of its unconventional keyboard. It also has a 5 MP camera in it. It has a sliding QWERTY keypad, which makes it easy to type documents.

Next is HTC 7 Mozart. The USP of this cell phone is the 8MP camera. There is an additional feature that makes photography more convenient and like never before. It has a stylish design that makes it a stand apart. It has all the features like 1 GHz processor for multitasking. There are the connectivity options like GPRS, EDGE, 3G, HSDPA, Bluetooth, Google and Bing maps.

The next one is HTC HD7. It is again a cell phone with a 5 MP camera, 480×800 pixel resolution for better picture quality, a 4.3 inch large screen, 1GHz processor, 576 MB RAM and 16 GB internal memory.

The next one is Samsung Focus. This cell phone is just similar to the Samsung Omnia. It has a 5 MP camera and an internal memory of 8GB. The name it has been given is Focus because it has auto focus lenses with a LED flash. There are other features like GPRS, EDGE, 3G and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth as well.

The next one is HTC 7 Pro. This is a really cool choice from the house of HTC. With its killer look it is possible for you to experience a never before mobile telephony.

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