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Chrome OS Remains Undefeated At Pwnium 3

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the technical-victory dept.

Google 178

hypnosec writes "Google has announced that its Chrome OS has managed to remain undefeated during the Pwnium 3 event that was held alongside Pwn2Own. Announced by Google on January 28, 2013 the Pwnium 3 event carried a prize money of $3.14 million. Researchers were asked to carry out attacks against a base Samsung Series 5 chromebook running the latest stable version of Chrome OS. It turns out security researchers were not able to come up with winning exploits even after the competition's deadline was extended. Google Chrome Team has revealed that partial exploit entries have been filled in but, no other details have been released."

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OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122587)

The OS doesn't really do anything. It's a glorified web browser.

I'd be more impressed with OpenBSD not being hacked, and even that is essentially just an init process and sshd.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (5, Insightful)

DCstewieG (824956) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122845)

You say that like it's a bad thing. A glorified web browser with incredible security is exactly what a good amount of people should be using. Hell, I know someone who would get along fine if their computer did nothing but Facebook, let alone the rest of the web.

I find it hard to believe (though it's getting easier) that even geeks who have trouble seeing the world outside their little techy bubble can complain about this. I've seen the idea of an internet "driver's license" come up on these boards but then something that protects people from themselves is shit all over. Well done.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (2, Insightful)

islisis (589694) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123105)

Maybe because some of us are still proponents of 'computers', not content-sipping machines. Awareness of computing means more than getting work done or being entertained, it also involves some learning about the nature of how we do these things can and should change over time. Combined with ideas of open access this is important issue; we should all at least be aware of our ability to govern our processing needs, whether we enjoy the idea or not.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (4, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123259)

Typical geek-elitist drivel. For some (myself included) sure it's important to understand the nature of how computers do things. What you seem to fail to see, or are in denial about, is that computers have become ubiquitous appliances, and the average user doesn't give a shit about the 'nature of how we do these things.' They just want it to work.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123287)

Yes. Most people don't even have a clue how the light in their room comes on when they flip the switch and could care less about electricity as long as when they flip the switch the light comes on. Almost no one knows anything about internal combustion that drives a car daily they just know that when you turn the key it should start. The how and why is beyond them. Computers are even more complex to these people and it's crazy to think they'll ever know or care how they work.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123339)

Not knowing where the electricity comes from or how the car engine works won't allow someone to steal your savings account.

You are so wrong (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123385)

Well, yes, I could, and so could plenty of other people who understand social engineering, you fail.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (4, Insightful)

McFadden (809368) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123705)

Your point is typical of the smart-ass remarks that get thrown around on site like this to score cheap points, that have no fucking relevance at all when they're actually considered. The responsibility for knowing how your car works, or ensuring your electricity functions correctly has been taken out of your hands and is handled by the people who made the vehicle or the house. Just like providing people with a simple, secure computing platform that does enough to satisfy their needs is not a bad idea.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123719)

And that's *EXACTLY* how it fucking should be with computers too, Einstein. That was whole point of this thread.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123635)

Sad to say this is true...

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123737)

Computers are even more complex to these people and it's crazy to think they'll ever know or care how they work.

Let's not kid ourselves. Most Slashdot readers don't really know how computers work either. (At least not beyond screwing the parts together and blundering their way through various installers.)

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124569)

Yet most people understand electicity well enough to not stick bits of wire in the lightbulb socket.
Should people know what a CPU is? No. Should they understand that giving a program administrative access means you're giving it full control of all your private information? Yes.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123307)

No , I think he understands perfectly, he is just saying that we shouldn't accept that state of affairs.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (2)

YukariHirai (2674609) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123347)

No-one's saying that all computers should be "content-sipping machines", just that such machines should be available to those who only ever sip content and want to remain absolutely clueless about how they work, rather than them get their shit exploited because they don't (and probably never will) know how to secure something themselves. "Proper" computers and operating systems should still be available to those of us who want them and can handle the responsibility.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123645)

Use the right tool for the right job you idiot.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (4, Informative)

stretch0611 (603238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123983)

Maybe because some of us are still proponents of 'computers', not content-sipping machines. Awareness of computing means more than getting work done or being entertained, it also involves some learning about the nature of how we do these things can and should change over time.

So my mother who does nothing but play games and email should have a general purpose computer because you think a device should do more than just suck content?

we should all at least be aware of our ability to govern our processing needs, whether we enjoy the idea or not.

Yet you just said that everyone needs more than just content machines. My mom is aware of her needs, yet you want to force something more on her...

I am a developer. Unlike the masses, I need a general purpose computer. There will always be a market for them no matter how much we flood the market will less versatile devices like tablets and smartphones (which is where I believe the market is heading.)

For personal use, many people do not need a full computer, lets give them something simpler that better fits their needs. Even some business purposes can be done on a tablet now. Why should we force them to buy something more?

25 years ago would you have suggested that we all continue to use dumb terminals hooked up to mainframes? The modern computer decimated the market for mainframes, supercomputers, and minicomputers. Today, the market share of these large and powerful machines is significantly diminished, yet they still exist for the people have a need for them that a normal computer can not fulfill.

Plain and simple, not everyone needs a "computer" just because you think that they do. There will be a need for them and computers will not go extinct, but fewer and fewer people (as a percentage) will have that need and smaller devices will displace computers in the market.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124219)

The problem is 'computers' are far too complex devices for the average end user, it is irresponsible to let most people connect such a complex device to a public resource when they have no idea how it works.
Content-sipping machines managed by a third party are what the average user should have, 'computers' should be reserved for geeks who understand how to use them.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43124223)

I'm not a professional developer, but I can write code and write some bash scripts.

I can also ride a motorcycle. On most motorcycles the front and rear brakes are independent. So the operator must balance breaking force and make dynamic adjustments to compensate for many variables. During the braking procedure your force balance will change. BTW I can also take most motorcycles apart and put them back together, and ride them.

Using your logic, I'm a proponent of mechanics, not baby-carriages. Certainly, anybody who gets into a motor vehicle should have in intimate understanding of the physics involved during turns and how the forces change throughout turning. Certainly you should know what every part in your car does.

Whether you enjoy it or not, you should know *exactly* what that magneto does. And how many valves you have, and where your cams are.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124549)

Maybe because some of us are still proponents of 'computers', not content-sipping machines.

Well, there's always the programmer switch on the devices; however, I have to say I know some Russian and Chinese hackers who really, really like everyone having general purpose computers with poor security so they can run their botnets.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (4, Insightful)

kangsterizer (1698322) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123275)

I think what's important to note is that "nobody" uses ChromeOS. This means "nobody" researches bugs for it very hard (even thus its relatively well secured, actually).
All that too say, "nobody pwned haiku either"

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

Mark of the North (19760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123475)

Is there a $3.14 million bounty I can claim for pwning Haiku?

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124233)

ChromeOS shares enough similarities with Linux and the Chrome browser that people will already have a decent level of familiarity with it... And $3.14 million is a pretty decent incentive to try.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123419)

I thought that's what iPads were for!

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123663)

You'll change your tune as soon as your (insert relative or friend here) asks you how to play (insert hot new videogame here) on their Chromebook. What will your advice be - 'Buy an XBox'?

People wanna do stuff on their computers, even the dumb ones...

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124139)

Hell, I know someone who would get along fine if their computer did nothing but Facebook, let alone the rest of the web.

"Announcing... the Facebookbook!"

I wonder if it's any more secure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43124279)

The big question is whether or not it will be more, or less, secure. And no, we didn't just settle that.

If I store things locally on an "oldschool" computer, but I store things "in the cloud" on a Chromebook, then attacks against my terminal are not a fair test of the system's security.

I hope you're right that this system "protects people from themselves" but I think that's going to depend on web programmers being more security-conscious than the previous generation of desktop programmers. On one hand: "HA! OMG! HA HA! Let me tell you about some things I have seen on the web..." On the other hand: Ok, Google has a fairly good track record.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122911)

Considering how fast the various web browsers fall, it *is* impressive. Chrome OS machines are wonderful for giving to clueless relatives who just browse the web.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (3, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123223)

Gods yes. My father's Chromebook has probably saved him its price already in visits to the computer shop to get viruses removed.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123281)

You do realize that they all have large teams of people working on this for a YEAR before the competition come right? Not exactly "fast".

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (2)

mianne (965568) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124351)

Chrome OS seems geared to those same folks who'd otherwise install trojans, spyware, etc. for the sake of getting an animated cat to chase their cursor. So these users are protected from themselves in not directly hosing their OS from sheer ignorance, and the geeks who purchased these systems might now be lulled into complacency in knowing that they aren't likely to need to LLF the drive and then explain to their relatives where all their funny pictures went...

The problem I foresee is that a user of Chrome OS will therefore have a large target painted on them they they'll be much more likely to fall prey to a phishing campaign. Have you trained Aunt Mabel well enough to know that when she receives that "Important message regarding your mortgage account" informing her that her payment wasn't properly credited, she won't immediately be clicking through to log into her account or calling the "customer service hotline" for assistance?

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123095)

The OS doesn't really do anything. It's a glorified web browser.

I'd be more impressed with OpenBSD not being hacked, and even that is essentially just an init process and sshd.

It is a bit more interesting because Chrome, the browser, was among the fallen on Windows(not sure if they tested it on OSX).

ChromeOS is, indeed, mostly web browser sitting on top of a sparse-but-nowhere-near-as-weird-as-android linux distribution(Incidentally, might Google be the one to follow through on Mark Andresson's 1995 threat concerning reducing the OS to a collection of poorly debugged device drivers, albeit not the OS he was talking about?); but it wouldn't have struck me as obvious that it would behave notably different from Chrome running elsewhere, for exactly that reason.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123461)

Well, there's the fact that Chrome only exists (officially) on devices built for/released with it. I'd wager that vulnerabilities would skyrocket if Chrome were turned into a real distro that could run on any hardware, because that would open the door to closed drivers, third-party repositories, etc, etc.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (5, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123291)

That is why I don't understand why its included....do they include other thin clients? Because that is ALL it is, its a minimal kernel designed to have just enough to launch the browser interface, no different than one of the old Sun Ray thin clients. The ONLY difference between Chrome OS and any other classic thin client is Google provides the infrastructure in return for being able to datamine you for their real customers, which is of course the advertisers.

Now does this mean ChomeOS is "bad"? Of course not, if a thin client is all your company needs I would be happy to set one up, for some jobs a thin client is really all that is needed....BUT, and its a BIG BUT, there are a HELL of a lot of tasks that thin clients just aren't built for which is why I just don't get marketing this to consumers. Hell even my most boring home customers have SOME software they want to run, take the little old lady that was my last customer of the day, I had to load the little software that comes with her wireless printer into her new system because she uses that to make little announcements for her family, calendars made out of pictures of the new grandbaby, anniversary party invites, that kind of stuff. If she couldn't have her little software? The PC might as well be a paperweight for all the good it would do her.

So I really don't get why these rags keep lumping in ChromeOS with Windows and OSX because its really nothing like them at all, those are your classic "fat client" full OS while Chrome is a classic thin client "browser in a box". Hell feature wise its got less going for it than Android, Android you can side load and run third party programs easily and from what I've seen Chrome is strictly web based which is why they can get by with such little space on the drive, everything is supposed to be hosted by Google and run in the browser.

It just makes no sense at all to run a test of fat clients with Chrome, to use a /. car analogy it would be like having a test on which truck gets the best mileage and entering a moped. Sure its gonna get the best mileage but so what? It doesn't actually DO the jobs that you need a truck for in the first place!

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (3, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123827)

The difference is that Chrome OS is a consumer-grade "thin client". It is aimed mainly at home and educational use, not the big corporate or government use most other thin clients aim for.

As such, yes, it makes sense to compare it to other consumer-grade operating systems. The results won't be quite comparable, as many duties normally handled by the OS are done remotely, in "the cloud", but it's still a worthwhile comparison.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123847)

do they include other thin clients?

Such as?

CromeOS is on laptops that ordinary people can walk in, pick up from store shelves, buy and use right now. Of course it should be compared to Windows and OSX - it's competing with them. And those ordinary people want to know if it's a better choice for their purposes.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43124089)

Look under the hood. Chrome OS is just as capable of running X11 apps as your off the shelf distro. Granted, it's not designed to so it's difficult to make it do so, damn near impossible (as seen in article) without switching developer mode on.

But, switch developer mode on, turn off rootfs verification, remount as RW, and dump binaries on that it'll happily run. I don't typically categorize thin clients as a system running GNU/Linux w/ X11 support.

I think the ace in the hole for ChromeOS security is that any partitions writable are mounted noexec. Any partition mounted exec, is read only. How do you get around that without attacking the kernel itself?

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (1)

ninetyninebottles (2174630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124215)

That is why I don't understand why its included....do they include other thin clients?

I think you're confusing Pwnium with Pwn2own. Chrome OS was the only thing in the former. The latter did not include any thin clients, just Chrome on Windows, which failed along with every other browser offered for testing on Windows.

Re:OS that doesn't do anything isn't cracked.. (2)

Clarious (1177725) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123627)

It seems that ChromeOS is based on hardened gentoo (clues can be found here https://sites.google.com/site/chromeoswikisite/home/what-s-new-in-dev-and-beta/shell-acess-with-verified-boot [google.com] ), and hardened gentoo is.... hard (grsec + pax + some kind of MAC mechanism). And while I agree that ChromeOS is very basic, just a browser on top of it. But all other browsers were successfully attacked, it means that the OS has protected the browser.

Does it do anything at all? (2)

CharredMetal (1463333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122621)

I mean Does chrome OS runs /have anything of value at all? all the data is kept on the server side. Most of the processing happens through browser. so if session is closed there is nothing of value left on the machine unless you re-login. Is that correct?

Re:Does it do anything at all? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122643)

There are a few minimal command-line functions that work like ping, but otherwise that's pretty much the case.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (4, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122659)

From what I understand, there are, at the very least, local caches (similar to Google Drive/Docs/Email offline). Also, there would be all the info that Chrome keeps locally.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (3, Informative)

simonbp (412489) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122903)

Posting this from my series 5. :)

It runs Ubuntu/Xubuntu 13.04 quite nicely booting off an SD card. You'd be hard pressed to get a better laptop for the money, and it's massively more useful than any table I've ever used.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (5, Funny)

simonbp (412489) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122913)

Tablet, I mean. It's not as useful as a table.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (1)

Pale Dot (2813911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123159)

With its bigger screen, the $1000 Chromebook Pixel looks like a better table. Just be sure to close the notebook lid first.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (1)

islisis (589694) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123225)

What about a chair? Outside of Redmond that is...

Re:Does it do anything at all? (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124079)

Be careful. That typo set Microsoft's Surface tablet project back several years.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123033)

SD card I/O for storage is pretty slow, but then again so is the series 5 in general...

Re:Does it do anything at all? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122651)

I played with one at Best Buy a couple days ago. I think it comes down to this: Whatever you can do in Chrome (the browser) you can do on that machine.

There are "links" on the tab bar that function as shortcuts to places like gmail, google docs, and whatever. I think they just open up a browser window or tab to that respective place, though.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (3, Informative)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122815)

To anyone who wants to play around with it: there are Chromium OS VM builds out there you can play with in VMWare or Virtualbox (legal, it's all opensource).

I tried it out a few weeks ago. It really *is* just a web browser. I have trouble understanding why someone would spent $1300 for a Pixel unless they planned to install a real OS on it. Yeah, I get that the display is nice, but for that kind of money I should be able to... I dunno... maybe run the aforementioned VMWare, like I do now on the $599 laptop I virtualized Chrome (and Win7 and PC-BSD) on. And played Portal on, etc.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122995)

I think that the thought is that with the addition of NaCl apps, WebGL, and WebRTC on a fast enough machine, that you can have most of those apps in a sandboxed environment. And there is merit to that... considering how many people now use their tablet as their primary device.. I agree the price point is way off.. given the touch display, they could have a reduced CPU, and it might be enticing in the $800 price range.. but at $1300, I'd rather have a Macbook.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124027)

I think that the thought is that with the addition of NaCl apps, WebGL, and WebRTC on a fast enough machine, that you can have most of those apps in a sandboxed environment. And there is merit to that... considering how many people now use their tablet as their primary device.

Not really. I'm pretty sure there's a graveyard somewhere with the bones of all the companies who thought a browser would make a perfectly good OS and did not realize their mistake in time.

Odds are good that Chrome OS will fail to gain significant traction for exactly the same reason: HTML and CSS are really, really terrible for complicated user interfaces. Things that take fifteen seconds in Interface Builder can take hours or even days to do correctly with HTML/CSS, assuming you're designing to accommodate variably sized browser windows. And making what rightfully ought to be a tiny design change can force you to do a massive redesign of the CSS and HTML.

Speaking as somebody who has written some pretty complex web apps [webscriptedtv.com] over the years, I've concluded that the state of web UIs is so horribly primitive compared with the state of native UIs in terms of the amount of effort required to get a usable result, and the documentation for the various toolkits is so mind-bogglingly poor compared with docs for pretty much any of the native UI systems, that I can't imagine anybody being crazy enough to think a web-based OS would succeed, particularly after Apple AND Palm/HP tried it and concluded that it wasn't practical.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124239)

For a lot of people, the interfaces they use on a daily basis have already been written in HTML and CSS...
I know many people who use a computer for:

email (webmail)
facebook
twitter
occasional searches for information via google
im (usually the one provided by facebook)
porn

All of these are usable via chromeos right now, and enable someone to just get on with it without having to worry about malware or keeping their os up to date (or even caring what an os is).

Re:Does it do anything at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123111)

What's stopping you from installing Ubuntu on it and running VMWare?

Re:Does it do anything at all? (1)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123409)

Nothing at all, and there's no reason you shouldn't, if you're buying it just for the hardware. But they're obviously not selling it just for the hardware, otherwise they'd preinstall it with a real OS, or no OS at all. They're selling it as a really fancy Chromebook - that's the sales pitch here - but at this point there's not a lot you can do with a Chromebook that's fancy enough to justify $1300 other than look at media on a really pretty screen.

In short, it's not the $1300 for the hardware that is wacky, it's the fact that such a machine is tremendously underutilized by the glorified web browser of an OS it runs. It also has too little storage for the price, but that's another issue.

In short, if you're spending $1300 for a laptop to put Linux on, you can do better - a MacBook would be a better deal, in terms of what hardware you get for the money.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (2)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124475)

In short, if you're spending $1300 for a laptop to put Linux on, you can do better - a MacBook would be a better deal, in terms of what hardware you get for the money.

Perhaps it would be a better deal, but do you not understand that there are a significant number of people who refuse to give Apple any money?

For us, the Chromebook Pixel is that machine for which we have been waiting several years.

Why not just setup a true ESXi server? (1)

earls (1367951) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123309)

You could build a really nice server with the $1,100 left over after buying a $199 Acer Chromebook. A Pixel in this paradigm is the dick to the balls.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124347)

I tried it out a few weeks ago. It really *is* just a web browser. I have trouble understanding why someone would spent $1300 for a Pixel unless they planned to install a real OS on it.

The price of the Chrome Pixel is minus $500 for some people (that's right, it's a negative number for some).

The people that are already paying $1,800 every three years for Google cloud storage get that three year subscription for free if they buy a Pixel at $1,300. Essentially, the Pixel is a loss leader for CEOs, or CTO, or the tech manager making the purchase decisions. Personally, I don't know anyone else who would use so much cloud storage in the first place except businesses. I suppose they're probably hoping that the Pixel will act as a Trojan horse in the Enterprise. If a CEO really likes his free complimentary supped up $1,300 Chromebook, he may try getting more cloud storage, and cheap $200 Chromebooks for every non-technical person in his company. Company-wide decisions can get made on much less than this.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (2)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122697)

In this case, the target was a Samsung Series 5 Chromebook which has 16GB of local storage. In theory, you could in theory get it to run code that could return data to you. However since the OS itself doesn't really run any services to exploit, you would have to do it via the browser.

Previous pwn2own contests have required someone on the notebook to open a URL emailed to them in order to initiate the attack. It is unclear form this article what the rules where in this case.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122833)

Well, it accesses my email, and documents I'm drafting with collaboration. It also saves credit card info (i think, not mine).

chrome fell, so I personally find this interesting.

my email is worth a decent amount at times, and there are people who have far more valuable emails.

Re: Does it do anything at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123059)

Seeing as how most people only use their computer for the web it does what it needs to.

It might not fit everyone's needs but then again why would I buy a motorcycle to drive my family around in.

Re:Does it do anything at all? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124235)

The keyboard, which you could log if you compromised the host.

Attack surface reduction at it's finest (1)

dhavleak (912889) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122695)

Have zero surface! (Apologies for the redundancy.. OS that does nothing jokes have already been cracked.. couldn't resist adding my own :P)

Re:Attack surface reduction at it's finest (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122861)

Good one!

Re:Attack surface reduction at it's finest (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124243)

Only it has a browser, exactly the thing that was successfully cracked in the other contests.

Don't overvalue this (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122699)

It only means that Chrome OS is not too badly engineered. As Chrome OS is pretty new, the number of people that had an in-depth look will be smaller. As it is quite a bit different from other OSes and offers a lot less functionality on the application side, other approaches may be required to crack it.

One could object to that that the kernel is still Linux. True, but the Linux kernel is one tough nut to crack. Even local exploits are in the vast majority not kernel-based, but some application messing up. If they are kernel based, it is typically a specific driver. I do not remember any remote exploits for the kernel at all in the last few years, except one in an exotic network protocol, and Chrome OS has no reason to enable anything in that class.

So while this is a good initial result, do not overvalue it. It is possible that Chrome OS gets broken in the next few years when people get more experience with it. Die to its limited functionality, it is also possible that it will remain very hard to break into or that nobody manages it. Personally, I would welcome a main-stream secure browsing solution establishing itself, but remember that you cannot do most things with Chrome OS that you can do with other OSes.

Re:Don't overvalue this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123469)

"I do not remember any remote exploits for the kernel at all in the last few years"

Huh? This is just as rare for WIndows and OS X.

And most local system exploits these days _are_ kernel exploits. The days of subverting suid binaries are long gone. They're not the low hanging fruit anymore if you want to p0wn the entire system, especially because the proliferation of different software for SMTP, etc, has left the kernel as the least common denominator. Now if you want to elevate privileges, you focus on breaking the kernel, which unfortunately is not much of an impediment.

I would never give out shell accounts on a Linux server. It's sure to get hacked pretty quickly. Something like OpenBSD? Not so much. (I regularly see Linux shell systems hacked; same systems running OpenBSD before or after the fact... never.) Mostly because the code churn is far, far, far lower. Linux kernel exploits are actually rather regular, sadly. Code gets refactored, something stupid is committed, and 12 months later the bug is "discovered", never mind that the rootkit writers had been quietly exploiting it for months.

Re:Don't overvalue this (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124261)

Lack of experience? ChromeOS is a subset of linux, people are already sufficiently familiar with the parts of linux it does include.

Yes there have been bugs in the linux kernel, but remember that most distribution kernels are generic builds with a large number of drivers and functionality available. If you configure your own kernel, you can turn off what you don't need and this is what google will have done with chromeos. The basic common functionality will be well debugged and see a lot less code churn.

Re:Don't overvalue this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43124331)

Code churn in Linux happens in even the most boring parts. Look at the way the BSDs implement, say, interval timers and you'll see code which hasn't been touched in a decade. Look at the subsystem in Linux and you'll see regular tweaks or refactoring going back forever. So, the issue isn't drivers or esoteric bits. Code churn at the core is pretty constant, even if because somebody is screwing around w/ a new locking scheme or something.

The beauty of ChromeOS is the hardware security, though.

Re:Don't overvalue this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43124561)

You are right about Linux local exploits - for those not convinced, see https://lwn.net/Vulnerabilities/?n=20&offset=20 for one example in last few weeks, and scroll back for more.

Unlike OpenBSD, Linux doesn't have a program of proactive source code auditing for security holes, and it evolves much faster, creating the opportunity for new bugs of all kinds, including security vulnerabilities. The kernel team has an unfortunate policy of not openly disclosing when a kernel fix is security related, making it harder for all but kernel experts to figure out the impact of a hole. Fortunately the major distros do a reasonably good job but you are reliant on their time to patch.

Maybe Google can focus on Android security now... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122757)

Or at least the Chrome OS developers could give the Android developers a few pointers...

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/03/07/apple-android-malware/ [cnn.com]

Re:Maybe Google can focus on Android security now. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122793)

Android is fairly secure (again, the base OS doesn't do much.) The mentality around apps is what's wrong.

There must exist a way to disable permissions on a per application basis, but Google will not allow it when it would kill search revenue. People must stop installing apps that access permissions they don't need, but they won't so long as they want their free app toys.

Re:Maybe Google can focus on Android security now. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123351)

Uhm, I will.

I don't give permission for shit to shit. I barely even give permission to my ass for shitting.

Seriously though, if I install something, it is either:
1. A commercial app made by a well known company (Doesn't guarantee it's secure, but it's probably not malware)
2. An open source program. (The person who compiled it could be evil though I suppose and have inserted his own special code to do whatever.. but it would need permissions that are suspicious).

In all seriousness, I don't get though why some people think that basic shit should be commercial or full of ads just because it's "mobile". Basic shit like FTP, calculator programs, SSH, VNC, etc. should be available for free by now. Just because the OS is new doesn't make these things groundbreaking. I really wish Google would take a stab at these basic apps in order to kill the overpriced commercial leaches and get rid of the ad infested junkware (I know they make money from ads, but there is such a thing as too junky).

Re:Maybe Google can focus on Android security now. (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123453)

Well actually they could, all they have to do is to allow http(s) access to the adds-network (or a whitelist) and allow the user to deny everything else.

Re:Maybe Google can focus on Android security now. (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123189)

OMFG MALWARES! sigh ...

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fsecure.ms.dc&hl=en [google.com]

that's f-secure's (the authors of the report) mobile app that costs $10.58. you think it's just coincidence that it's always someone with a product to sell that's behind these reports?

Re:Maybe Google can focus on Android security now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43124617)

Android is always going to be poor in this area. It's developed by the Googlers who aren't good enough to work on search and who think basing their platform around the ghastly java ecosystem wasn't a stupid idea. You won't find much clue there.

It's an "OS" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122781)

Chrome OS is more barebones than my phone.

Security is good now, but there's a reason for tha (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122801)

I wonder what will happen in another 15 years. When the "win95 generation" moves in to upper management and the "relatively virus free win7/osx generation" starts designing and managing their own pay-software.
 
The current crop of software devs dealt with stuxnet, *worm and all that other crap. They probably dealt with it on their parent's computers, their grand parents and neighbors. Designing secure, web connected software is in their interests.
 
Will the next generation of developers who entered middle school with facebook already being a thing have the same security concerns? People who survived the Great Depression are typically much more fiscally savvy than those born in the credit era of the 80s 90s and early 2000s.
 
Does this mean we're going to plunge in to a security trough as mediocre corporate software developers push out crap, insecure code, not knowing how insecure code causes problems down the road?

Re:Security is good now, but there's a reason for (1)

tibman (623933) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124091)

I think the kids going through middle school now will be fine. When i was a kid there was no such thing as malware or fishing. It was worms and viruses. Spam was so rare that filters didn't exist. We didn't have wifi and didn't have to worry about wardrivers. The internet wasn't something you could carry in your pocket. We didn't have social media, we had Geocities.

I agree with you that their concerns will be different. But i don't think it will lead to completely insecure programming.

Chrome OS Remains Undefeated At Pwnium 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122805)

Yet...

In other news (0)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122949)

When researchers where asked to come up with an exploit for the operating system they replied, What is Chrome OS?

Tuna wars? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122973)

First Bumble Bee Tuna, now Chicken of the Sea... Is it possible that they have sleeper agents within both companies... Paying them extra to work for years at their competitor's factory. Sabotaging this fucking tuna?

Not a SINGLE reply?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123483)

Not even a downmod? This man speaks the turth!

Windows 8 was also undefeated (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122997)

Why use an inferior OS like Chrome, when you can get everything you need from WINDOWS 8?

Truly the superior OS. And unlike pretty much all of the other operating systems, you can play games on it. And run MS Office. And just about every other program you might want to use in a business environment.

Except linux, because only homosexual faggots and republicans use linux. Kim Jong-un uses Apple computers. FAGGOTS in China use Apple computers. MOTHERfucking FaGgOtS in Europe use Chrome OS. And it shows. You can smell the stink rising from their pathetic homes. You don't even have to go inside to know that they use an inferior operating system. Everything, from their lawns, to the outside of their houses, to the RANCID STENCH of SUBHUMAN, absolutely fucking reeks of a non-Windows 8 user.

Don't be a stupid sack of shit. Get Windows 8. And vote democrat. We know what's best for you, and even if you think you know what's best for yourself and your children, you're fucking wrong. Now shut the fuck up and do as you are told.

Install Windows 8 on your computers now. And thanks for voting for Obama.

Stick it online for four hours (0)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123439)

A router only to wifi to the Chrome OS and no active prevention measures (human intervention).
If it's still standing securely after that time then I'll be impressed. Until then this is just great
advertisement for the Chrome OS and nothing more.

Researchers is a broad term and the conditions kept many away.

"To enter the Program, visit the Google desk at CanSecWest 2013 in Vancouver, Canada during
the Program Period. Entrants are entirely responsible for all costs and fees associated with
attending the CanSecWest 2013, including (but not limited to) admission fees, transportation,
accommodation and living costs." http://www.chromium.org/Home/chromium-security/pwnium-3 [chromium.org]

Re:Stick it online for four hours (2)

dririan (1131339) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123661)

A router only to wifi to the Chrome OS and no active prevention measures (human intervention). If it's still standing securely after that time then I'll be impressed. Until then this is just great advertisement for the Chrome OS and nothing more.

To the best of my knowledge, Chrome OS doesn't listen on any ports out of the box. Even DMZing it would do nothing, because there's nothing for attackers to connect to. Perhaps you should learn more about Chrome OS before you come up with ideas like this.

Researchers is a broad term and the conditions kept many away.

Which explains why everything else there was broken, right? Nope, wait, also complete nonsense.

Facebook browser (Funny) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123529)

I cant wait for me facebook browser!!!

hackers wont tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123625)

We long ago gave up helping corporations learn how to keep crap safe....and after these years we finally have a solid bunch and the last time someone said it was "unhackable" i myself hacked it and just never told anyone ....enjoy seeing someone whom cares not for money , nor can be bribed.

go on put it mission critical and put stuff there thats worth money on an open market or can lead to loads a press....and see what happens.

Google you have been warned.

I just bought a chrome book last week. (4, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123723)

Quick review: When there is a network connection, it is a solid browser. It synched with my Chrome browser customizations from my previous use of chrome using windows or linux boxes. Including flashblock and adblock.

But what about off line? Google docs off line lets you edit documents and presentations off line. They sync when you get the connection. When it first came it had no off line edits. Then they have introduced doc and presentations. Spreadsheets would be next I guess. Or may be not. Gmail offline can be customized to keep last so many days worth of email in the local cache. Google calender works off line, ( I think, need to go back and check.).

Off line music player works, off line video play back works. Source of the media could be the internal drive or any USB drive, including the USB powered hard disks. Kindle off line reader works, three books cached very quickly. Apps exist like "Read this link later" that works off line.

So off line, you can watch video, listen to music, read books, cached web pages. You will have read/access to all the google drive docs. And write access to docs and presentations. I think for 200$ it is way more than what I expected.

Re:I just bought a chrome book last week. (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124591)

Wow, thank you for your review. You successfully explained what it's like to own. Sounds like a good box for entertainment.

What about Safari? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123861)

Apparently Safari also hasn't been hacked. Odd that it wasn't mentioned...

Prehacked (3, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123873)

Chrome OS is prehacked. It comes installed with a trojan/bot which collects all your information and sends it to Google.

Re:Prehacked (1)

pentadecagon (1926186) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124621)

You just repeat what everybody already knows and make it sound bad. Where have we seen this perfidious tactics before? Hint: not from Google. This is why people trust Google more than Microsoft. And, of course, with Chrome OS you exactly know what is being send and where. Good luck finding out what Windows sends home.

Re:Prehacked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43124755)

What "tactic".. you idiot. Its common sense. Do you always love defending advertising companies or is it only google?

Good luck finding out what Windows sends home.

People already have. Its called a Packet Sniffer. And theres nothing even remotely interesting from a privacy standpoint. All MS cares about is whether you've paid for your copy. Nothing else.

I have a better test. If I block all traffic to MS servers at the router level, Windows continues to work. *Nothing* google *ever* makes could ever work independently without them sucking up all your personal data into their network. Email, docs, pictures.. the works.

If Google was so "open source" friendly how come I cant host my own gmail server? Hint: They will never open source anything that is directly linked with their advertising platform - otherwise people will find out what they're doing behind the scenes.

Misread the title. (1)

DarkProphet (114727) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123927)

I read the title as "Chrome OS Remains Undefeated On A Pentium 3".

That would have been more interesting!

So many uninformed comments (5, Interesting)

daboochmeister (914039) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123971)

A major theme here is "it doesn't run many apps, that's why it's secure". Yeah, that must be it - it probably has absolutely nothing to do with the way they've implemented Mandatory Access Controls in a rigorous fashion, and the way they isolate resources with heavy use of cgroups, and the read-only root filesystem and tmpfs /tmp, and how they've made every binary use ASLR and NX and DEP, and how they've rewritten several major typically-vulnerable daemons to not run as root, and how they've developed userland daemons to broker access to hardware, and how they don't allow any files in user home dirs to be executables, or how they've started to sandbox device drivers, or the way they implemented separate processing stacks for HTTP and HTTPS, or how they verify not just the boot record but the whole boot stack and partition table and nv ram on every boot and and and ...

Yeah, all those things probably don't matter. They probably don't play any role in exploits that work on Windows-based Chrome failing on Chrome OS. It's not more inherently secure than any other OS, riiiggghhhhhttttt ...

Re:So many uninformed comments (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43124405)

Adding to this, many commenters forget that Chrome includes fairly sophisticated sandboxed execution of native code (NativeClient), so it is not 'just a browser' or a thin client. Google is actually funding research to formally prove the correctness of the sandbox mechanism, which is pretty commendable in itself.

Re:So many uninformed comments (2)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124601)

Well, it's a question of "what the end user sees". So far it boils down to:

-Everything your browser can do (while connected to the web).
-Ability to play media online and offline (from another commenter).
-Very strong system security.

The /. crowd have a problem because they can't fire up actual applications or games like Quake 4 - I'm guessing.

By George, I think I've got it! (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124319)

So Chrome will show my what Google wants me to see much faster than Firefox will show me what I want to see.

Whilst that is impressive... (2)

smash (1351) | about a year and a half ago | (#43124635)

.... did they hold the competition at the same time as pwn2own to ensure that the people who may be able to break it were otherwise engaged at a different event?

ChromeOS doesn't need backdoors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43124647)

Windows etc, and the apps that run on the same, including browsers, are riddled with NSA backdoors. It is this code, when 'discovered' by independent parties, that becomes the basis of so-called 'pwning'.

With ChromeOS, on the other hand, NSA's partner, Google, has crafted a service that spies on you by design, and in the open. No hacks are required to 'sniff' user activity. The very use of ChromeOS gives Google 100% access to all your data.

It should be noted that today, most cloud services, or server-side services, prohibit the use of data encryption in the TOS. Your 'private' files are required to be fully accessible to the service provider. Even file-locker services now prohibit or severely restrict the use of encrypted 'Zip' files, and will actually treat Zips that contain 'unknown' file types as illegal encryption.

ChromeOS isn't 100% secure. It is literally 100% insecure, by design and intent.

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