If you’re going to announce that your new browser is the safest on the market, you’d best be damned sure you’re right. It seems Microsoft releasing Internet Explorer 8 out of open beta yesterday was a red flag to a bull (or a challenge to a hacker) because within 24 hours a new exploit has been found in the browser.
The feat occurred at the annual CanSecWest security conference, which hosts its PWN2OWN hacking contest where the exploit was found. A German hacker going by the name of Nils found it and claims a prize of $5000 in cash and a Sony Vaio laptop as a prize.
It’s only fair to mention that the same hacker managed to claim an additional $10,000 for successfully hacking Safari and Firefox. There’s still two days left for more browsers to succumb to the hacker’s codey wiles – perhaps Chrome and Opera will let their guard slip as well.
Quite a bad day for Microsoft, you would say then? Well, yes – but not as bad as for Apple. At the same conference, security researcher Charlie Miller managed to hack a fully up to date MacBook in less than 10 seconds, beating his prize winning effort from 2008 by a full one minute and 58 seconds. Ouch.