Windows 11, Tesla, Ubuntu, and macOS hacked at Pwn2Own 2023


On the first day of Pwn2Own Vancouver 2023, security researchers successfully demoed Tesla Model 3, Windows 11, and macOS zero-day exploits and exploit chains to win $375,000 and a Tesla Model 3.

The first to fall was Adobe Reader in the enterprise applications category after Haboob SA’s Abdul Aziz Hariri (@abdhariri) used an exploit chain targeting a 6-bug logic chain abusing multiple failed patches which escaped the sandbox and bypassed a banned API list on macOS to earn $50,000.

The STAR Labs team (@starlabs_sg) demoed a zero-day exploit chain targeting Microsoft’s SharePoint team collaboration platform that brought them a $100,000 reward and successfully hacked Ubuntu Desktop with a previously known exploit for $15,000.

Synacktiv (@Synacktiv) took home $100,000 and a Tesla Model 3 after successfully executing a TOCTOU (time-of-check to time-of-use) attack against the Tesla – Gateway in the Automotive category. They also used a TOCTOU zero-day vulnerability to escalate privileges on Apple macOS and earned $40,000.

Oracle VirtualBox was hacked using an OOB Read and a stacked-based buffer overflow exploit chain (worth $40,000) by Qrious Security’s Bien Pham (@bienpnn).

Last but not least, Marcin Wiązowski elevated privileges on Windows 11 using an improper input validation zero-day that came with a $30,000 prize.

​Throughout the Pwn2Own Vancouver 2023 contest, security researchers will target products in enterprise applications, enterprise communications, local escalation of privilege (EoP), server, virtualization, and automotive categories.

On the second day, Pwn2Own competitors will demo zero-day exploits targeting Microsoft Teams, Oracle VirtualBox, the Tesla Model 3 Infotainment Unconfined Root, and Ubuntu Desktop.

On the last day of the contest, security researchers will set their targets again on Ubuntu Desktop and attempt to hack Microsoft Teams, Windows 11, and VMware Workstation.

Between March 22 and March 24, contestants can earn $1,080,000 in cash and prizes, including a Tesla Model 3 car. The top award for hacking a Tesla is now $150,000, and the car itself.

After zero-day vulnerabilities are demoed and disclosed during Pwn2Own, vendors have 90 days to create and release security fixes for all reported flaws before Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative publicly discloses them.

During last year’s Vancouver Pwn2Own contest, security researchers earned $1,155,000 after hacking Windows 11 six times, Ubuntu Desktop four times, and successfully demonstrating three Microsoft Teams zero-days.

They also reported several zero-days in Apple Safari, Oracle Virtualbox, and Mozilla Firefox and hacked the Tesla Model 3 Infotainment System.

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