A report from the Tianfu Cup cybersecurity competition, in which a large number of devices and applications were successfully attacked, shows how deceptive security is on modern platforms. Among other things, an iPhone 13 and Google Chrome were cracked.
As Forbes magazine reports every year the crème de la crème of security experts meets for the Chinese hacker contest Tianfu Cup. They then primarily take on widespread systems and platforms that are supplied with the latest security patches from the manufacturers. Then it’s a matter of finding a vulnerability and taking over the devices or services.
Frequently used systems with zero days
What caused a stir once again was how quickly Windows and iOS in particular could be cracked. One of the first “victims” of the hacking groups was the iPhone 13 Pro with iOS 15.0.2, which was attacked twice with a remote code execution exploit and a jailbreak for iOS 15. There is no good news for Microsoft either. The Tianfu Cup reported five successful attacks on Windows 10 and one on Exchange Server. Two successful attacks were carried out against Google Chrome. Other affected targets were Adobe PDF, the Asus AX56U router, Docker CE, Parallels VM, QEMA VM, Ubuntu 20, VMware ESXi, and Workstation.
Chinese hackers have chosen the Tianfu Cup as a kind of alternative event to international competitions such as Pwn2Own, as they are currently prohibited from participating in international competitions. As always in such competitions, the providers concerned were notified of the successful hacks. A Microsoft spokesperson told Forbes that “all vulnerabilities reported as part of the contest are disclosed responsibly and confidentially. Solutions to verified security issues that meet our criteria for immediate processing are usually released as part of our monthly Update Tuesday cadence.”
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