Chrome Safest Browser?

In a recent annual hacking competition,held on March 24th 2010, a total prize fund of $100,000 was awarded to hackers (sorry..cough…security experts) who successfully break into various types of software. The big four web browsers were among these targets. These browsers are fully up to date with all security patches, so the hackers have to discover unknown vulnerabilities (they have all year to prepare!) and they just hope that the vulnerabilities aren’t discovered and fixed days before the event!

Anyway, the first browser to fall (in a few seconds to Charlie Miller) was Safari on the Mac OS X. So much for the Mac being secure! A case of security through obscurity…

Another guy “Nils” successfully cracked Firefox, I.E and Safari.This was on Windows 7 on the first day. On the second two days, the task of cracking IE7 on Vista and XP was trivial as the 64 bit version of Windows 7 is microsoft’s most secure desktop product, combining kernel patch protection with User Account Control UAC

After three days, no-one had hacked Google Chrome. This was stated to be because of the “sandbox” feature of Chrome that helps to isolate it from the operating system.

There were also prizes offered for cracking mobile phone software. The iPhone fell during the first session.

Further reading from the pwn2own organizers

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3 Responses to “Chrome Safest Browser?”

  1. Chrome safest browser? « PC repair Says:

    […] Uncategorized Leave a Comment Tags: chrome, contest, hackers, pwn2own This post has moved here Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)One-in-four hackers runs Opera to ward off other […]

  2. Christian Gabriel C. Says:

    Very … contradictory info over the net about this aspect. All security tests place Chrome somewhere at the bottom with Opera … when it comes to security.
    I would however like to see a more accurate list of features which makes Chrome better than others. Simply saying the “Sandbox” feature makes the difference doesn’t cut it.

  3. adampembs Says:

    This surprises me, would be interesting to know the criteria for those tests. There are so many factors that come into play. Firefox and Chrome both get updated more frequently than IE, as Microsoft prefer to save theirs for the monthly update. User behaviour is another. The prevalence of add-ons for Firefox is a source of vulnerabilty, given that a few add-ons have been revealed to contain spyware. You are right to say the challenge in this case doesn’t prove that Chrome is more secure, only that the Sandbox prevented the hackers from compromising the OS as a whole.


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