Security Experts:

Google Pwnium 2 Hacking Competition Ups Rewards for Researchers

Google is upping the rewards for its Pwnium contest in a bid to attract more research from security experts.

"The first Pwnium competition held earlier this year exceeded our expectations," blogged Google software engineer by Chris Evans. "We received two submissions of such complexity and quality that both of them won Pwnie Awards at this year’s Black Hat industry event. Most importantly, we were able to make Chromium significantly stronger based on what we learned."

At Pwnium 2, as much as $2 million in rewards will be doled out, which is double the amount from the previous contest. The largest award will be for a full Chrome exploit on Windows 7, and will total $60,000. There will also be $50,000 awards for researchers who are able to compromise a system with at least one Chrome bug and one non-Chrome vulnerability, and $40,000 awards for bug hunters who complete attacks without using Chrome vulnerabilities. A panel of judges will also award prizes to people who come close to successful exploitation, Evans said.

"For example, code execution inside the sandbox but no sandbox escape; or a working sandbox escape in isolation," he blogged. "For Pwnium 2, we want to reward people who get “part way” as we could definitely learn from this work. Our rewards panel will judge any such works as generously as we can. 

"Exploits should be demonstrated against the latest stable version of Chrome," Evans blogged. "Chrome and the underlying operating system and drivers will be fully patched and running on an Acer Aspire V5-571-6869 laptop (which we’ll be giving away to the best entry.) Exploits should be served from a password-authenticated and HTTPS Google property, such as App Engine. The bugs used must be novel i.e. not known to us or fixed on trunk. Please document the exploit.

 Pwnium 2 will be held Oct. 10 at the Hack in the Box conference in Malaysia

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