Feeds

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

CanSecWest competition will target Intel and ARM this time

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.