Feeds

Google sets $2.7m Pwnium prize for cunning cracks for Chrome OS

CanSecWest competition will target Intel and ARM this time

High performance access to file storage

The fourth Pwnium hacking competition will be held in March, and this year Google is offering some major prizes for anyone who can subvert its Chrome OS.

And, for the first time, it's not as picky about its hardware.

"Past Pwnium competitions have focused on Intel-based Chrome OS devices, but this year researchers can choose between an ARM-based Chromebook, the HP Chromebook 11 (WiFi), or the Acer C720 Chromebook (2GB WiFi) that is based on the Intel Haswell microarchitecture," said Google security engineer Jorge Lucángeli Obes.

Crackers will get $150,000 for a successful webpage-based attack on a Chromebook that installs persistent malware against a guest or logged-in user. To bag $110,000, an attacker must compromise the browser or the entire system from a guest user account on Chrome OS, with "significant bonuses" for other interesting attacks, up to a limit of $2.71828m.

That figure's not random by the way, just Google geekery in action again. It's the value of the natural logarithm to the base e, although there's been some rounding in Mountain View's interpretation of the figure.

The attack has to be made against the latest build of Chrome OS running default software only and, based on Google's prior form, the Chocolate Factory's engineers will be updating the operating system right up to the last moment.

The contest will take place at the annual CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver on March 15, and Google will be writing checks on the day and afterwards. Successful hackers will also get to keep the hardware they pwn. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.