Feeds

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

CanSecWest competition will target Intel and ARM this time

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.