Vancouver, British Columbia (AHN)-- The Linux running on a Sony Vaio remained undefeated at the end of a three-way computer hacking challenge Friday at the CanSecWest conference.
Sponsors had wagered three laptops to anyone who could hack into one of the systems and run their own software. A $20,000 cash prize sweetened the deal.
The MacBook Air went first; Independent Security Evaluators' Charlie Miller took the Mac after about two minutes work on Thursday. Miller took home $10,000, courtesy of 3Com's TippingPoint division, in addition to the new laptop.
After two days of work, Shane Macaulay finally cracked the tiny Fujitsu laptop running Vista on Friday, with a little help from his friends.
Macaulay said the flaw he exploited was a cross-platform bug that took advantage of Java to circumvent Vista's security.Macaulay said he chose to work on Vista because he had done contract work for Microsoft in the past and was more familiar with its products.
TippingPoint Manager Terri Forslof said several attendees tried to crack the Linux box, but nobody could pull it off. She noted that some had found bugs in the Linux operating system but many of them didn't want to put the work into developing the exploit code that would be required to win the contest.