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It began in the early days of online gaming, when someone who meant to say that a player has been "owned" (dominated) had a typo that came out pwn. It caught on from there. Pronounced "Poned" or "Pone" (rhyme with owned) rather than "Pawned", which you might thing given the spelling.
In terms of the cyber-security world, pwn means to be able to hack/crack a system, as seen in the "Pwn2Own" computer hacking contest held by the CanSecWest security conference.