According to a report released by Bleeping Computers, a team of researchers from Pentest Limited tried to hack into the Samsung Galaxy S22 by planting a zero-day bug. This was part of an Improper Input Validation attack against the Samsung phone, which proved to be successful. The team was able to take over the smartphone in 55 seconds, which helped them win the contest. The team earned $25,000, 50% of the total cash prize.
Interestingly, the phone was hacked four times during the event, which was held from December 6th to December 8th. The event consisted of 26 participants from 14 countries. On the first day of Pwn2Own, the STAR Labs team and security researchers targeted the Samsung Galaxy S22. Using two other zero-day exploits, the team and a researcher known as Chim successfully targeted the Samsung Galaxy S22.
On the second day of Pwn2Own Toronto, the contestants were awarded a total of $281,500 for successfully planting 17 unique bugs across multiple categories of devices.
In all four hacking cases, the smartphone was using the latest version of the Android operating system and had all the available updates installed. During this competition, the teams and security researchers were also tasked with targeting devices of multiple categories. They tried to hack into printers, smartphones, network-attached storage, smart speakers, wireless routers, and more. In the smartphone category, no team signed up to try and hack the Google Pixel 6 and Apple’s iPhone 13.
The ease with which the Samsung Galaxy S22 was hacked brings into question the safety of the information stored on your devices. Hacking competitions like Pwn2Own are designed to allow security researchers and ethical hackers a platform to show off their skills. They are also highly beneficial for companies whose devices are hacked, as they can work to improve their security.
As shown by the competition, if cyber criminals discovered the zero-days used in the competition, it would be concerning because they could use it to hack Samsung phones. However, Samsung is well aware of the issue from the competition and is working on fixing those issues.
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