As day one of the annual Pwn2Own hacker contest wound down on Wednesday, no browser suffered more abuse than Google Chrome, which was felled by an attack exploiting a previously unknown vulnerability in the most up-to-date version. Combined with a separate contest Google sponsored a few feet away, it was the second zero-day attack visited on Chrome in a span of a few hours.
It was a rare event. To date, there are no known reports of a zero-day attack ever hitting Chrome in the wild, and at the previous three years’ contests, Chrome escaped unscathed, even as Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari were brought down by exploits that allowed the attackers to take complete control of the machine running the software. The chief reason: Chrome’s security sandbox—which isolates web content inside a highly restricted perimeter that’s separated from the rest of the operating system—makes it harder to write reliable attacks.
Google Chrome’s winning streak fades at annual hacking contest