Google has announced plans to pay $20,000 to anyone who can successfully
exploit a vulnerability in their Chrome browser and infiltrate a Cr-48 Chrome
Google’ is offering the cash prize as part of Zero Day Initiative’s
Pwn2POwn contest which will be taking place March 9-11 during the 2011 CanSecWest conference in
Vancouver. Google was willing to make such a wager after a triumphant 2010 at
no one even attempted to hack their Chrome browser. However, 2011 could be different as a cash prize of this magnitude is
likely to place a big target on Google’s browser.
Pwn2Own is an annual hacking contest in its fifth year. It pits the world’s top security researchers and hackers against popular Web browsers
and widely-used mobile devices. Last year was a big one for the contest with three
of four browsers successfully hacked and Dutch hacker Peter
Vreugdenhill compromising a fully patched 64-bit Windows 7 machine for the win using a pair of
zero-day vulnerabilities. This year promises to be even bigger
with a total prize allotment of $125,000 and Vreugdenhill back as an official judge.
The Web browser targets will be the latest releases of Internet Explorer,
Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. A successful hack of IE, Firefox, or Safari will
result in a cash prize of $15,000.
The targeted Mobile Devices will be the Dell Venue, iPhone 4,
Blackberry Torch 9800, and the Nexus S.