Two ethical hackers have managed to exploit zero-day vulnerabilities in the Zoom Messenger desktop client to execute random code on a victim’s machine.
Daan Keuper and Thijs Alkemade from CompuTest Security demonstrated their exploit at the ongoing hacking contest Pwn2Own, and were awarded a bug bounty of $200,000 by the video conferencing service.
Commenting on the exploit, Keuper said that while earlier Zoom vulnerabilities allowed attackers to infiltrate the calls, their exploit was a lot more serious as it allows attackers to take over the entire system.
We’re looking at how our readers use VPN for a forthcoming in-depth report. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the survey below. It won’t take more than 60 seconds of your time.
>> Click here to start the survey in a new window<<
Hijacking remote systems
The ethical hackers chained three vulnerabilities in the Zoom messenger to create their exploit.
Even more alarming is the fact that they were able to take over the remote system running the Zoom client without any involvement from the victim; the exploit didn’t require the victim to click any links or open any attachments.
Once successful, the duo had an almost complete control over the remote computer. They demonstrated several actions such as toggling the webcam and the microphone, gawking at the desktop, reading emails, and downloading their victim’s browser history.
Pwn2Own is a popular security conference where ethical hackers demonstrate zero-day vulnerabilities in popular devices and apps. Given the rise of remote collaboration tools, the conference organizers added the new Enterprise Communications category this year.
Elsewhere in the conference another ethical hacker hacked into Microsoft Teams, again by exploiting a combination of vulnerabilities to execute arbitrary code, and earned himself a $200,000 bug bounty from Microsoft.