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Twitter, Linux, Red Hat, Microsoft "honored" with Pwnie Awards

Annual Black Hat event recognizes security researchers and the bugs that keep them busy

By , Network World
July 31, 2009 10:45 AM ET

Network World -
Think of the annual Pwnie Awards delivered at the Black Hat conference as a geek version of the Oscars – if they were combined with the tongue-in-cheek Razzies that celebrate the worst of Hollywood.

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Twitter, Linux and Red Hat were among honorees that didn't go unscathed this time around.

Most Epic Fail honors went to the notorious Twitter/Google Apps hack from earlier this month that raised all sorts of questions about cloud computing security.

Red Hat got skewered with the Mass 0wnage award, also known as the "Pwnie for Breaking the Internet," for issuing a version of OpenSSH that left a backdoor open to hackers.  The Linux development team earned "Lamest Vendor Response" recognition for "continually assuming that all kernel memory corruption bugs are only Denial-of-Service."

Naturally, Microsoft didn't slip past judges' eyes. Its vulnerability that enabled the Conficker worm to do its thing earned honors as Most Overhyped Bug.

On the more positive side, the Pwnie Awards also recognized security pros for accomplishments such as discovering bugs and demonstrating exploits. Solar Designer snagged the Lifetime Achievement Award, for among other things, being the first to demonstrate heap buffer overflow exploitation, according to the Pwnie Awards Web site

Follow Bob Brown on Twitter.

Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

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