Mac OS X’s reputation for security was tarnished Thursday when a team of researchers from Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) managed to hack a MacBook Air in two minutes using a zero-day vulnerability in Apple’s Safari 3.1 Web browser.
The ISE security researchers – Charlie Miller, Jake Honoroff, and Mark Daniel – were participating in the “PWN to OWN” competition at the CanSecWest security conference, which began Wednesday in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“Pwn” is computer gaming slang for “own,” as in conquer. The “p” typo serves to heighten the humiliation of defeat by emphasizing that the loss came at the hands of a youth who can’t even spell or type correctly. The term has also come to be used in security circles.