24-August-2021, min readtime

Zoom ‘Remote Code Execution’ vulnerability from Pwn2Own 2021 explained

In April of this year, security researchers of Computest Sector 7 took part in the international competition Pwn2Own. They demonstrated how they could take over a computer remotely using vulnerabilities in the popular video conferencing platform Zoom. Zoom has now fixed all vulnerabilities and we can finally share the ins and outs of those vulnerabilities!

The primary vulnerability was in sending encrypted chat messages. This allowed our researchers to remotely overwrite memory on the target's system. In the blog post that we published with Zoom's approval, we describe exactly how we found this vulnerability:

Zoom RCE from Pwn2Own 2021

It also describes how we could eventually use this vulnerability to take over the entire system. As crazy as it may sound, finding a vulnerability is often the easy part. Actually coming up with a way to exploit the vulnerability is where the real magic is.

If you don't shy away from terms like buffer overflows, heap grooming and Return Orienting Programming, this is the blog for you!

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