A team of white-hat hackers from China was able to hack Google’s Pixel flagship smartphone in less than a minute at the PwnFest hacking competition in Seoul, South Korea. The team demonstrated an exploit which enabled remote code execution on the Pixel. In took them less than a minute to use a zero-day vulnerability to install code on Google’s latest flagship smartphone remotely. This exploit can prove to be very dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands.
Remote code execution can allow an attacker to run any code remotely on the device, thus making it easy for them to steal personal information, data, and more without the user ever finding out about it. The exploit launched Google’s Play Store before launching the Chrome browser automatically and displaying a web page which read “Pwned by 360 Alpha Team.”
The aim of these hacking competitions is to showcase the talents of some of the best white-hat hackers in the world. They are able to break through the layers of security on most widely used devices and win money in the process. Companies that make these devices get a benefit out of this exercise too, they get to know about exploits in their products which they can then patch quickly.
Google wants to assure Pixel users that it’s on top of things. The company has confirmed that it patched this exploit within 24 hours of the demonstration at the event in Seoul. The team won a cash prize of $120,000 for this hack.