Last week, the CanSecWest conference held a hacking contest that pitted three laptops against hackers. Winners got cash prizes as well as the laptop they hacked.
Each laptop ran on a different OS. The first was the MacBook Air, which of course ran Mac OS X. Next was a Fujitsu laptop running Vista, and the third was a Sony Vaio running on Linux.
By the end of the contest, the Linux laptop was the only one left standing. Not one hacker was able to crack it. Some 400 of the participants found a lot of bugs in the OS, but they ultimately failed to develop an exploit code to hack it.
The first to go was the MacBook Air. In fact, it was hacked in less than two minutes by Charlie Miller. His methods are still unclear, but it's known that he hacked it using an exploit in the Safari Web browser. He took home US$ 10,000 in addition to the laptop.
The second (and last) to go was the Vista, which took two days to hack. It was hacked by Shane Macaulay, with help from friends. Macaulay was the winner of last year's contest. He hacked the code by taking advantage of Java to get around Vista's security.