Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Hackers Earn Over $1 Million at Pwn2Own Exploit Contest

Security researchers raked in more than $1 million in prizes at this year’s CanSecWest Pwn2Own software exploitation contest.

Security researchers participating in this year’s Pwn2Own software exploitation contest banked more than $1 million in prizes over three days, organizers announced over the weekend.

The highest reward on the first day of the contest was earned for a TOCTOU (time-of-check to time-of-use) race condition exploit used to take full control of a Tesla vehicle. Researchers at French offensive security firm Synacktiv pocketed a $100,000 cash prize and ownership of a Tesla Model 3 car.

On the same day, a two-bug chain against Microsoft SharePoint was awarded a $100,000 prize and a six-bug logic chain targeting Adobe Reader earned hackers a $50,000 prize.

Vulnerabilities in Oracle VirtualBox ($40,000), Apple macOS ($40,000), Windows 11 ($30,000), and Ubuntu (two bugs, two $30,000 prizes) were also rewarded.

The first day of the contest ended with 12 zero-days being disclosed and $375,000 in cash and a car awarded in prizes.

The highest prize of the second day ($150,000) was once again earned for a Tesla hack, once again by the Synacktiv team. The exploit qualified for a Tier 2 award and the team earned $250,000.

Synacktiv emerged as the winner of Pwn2Own Vancouver 2023, earning a total of $530,000 and a car over the course of the three-day event.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

VirtualBox was hacked twice on the second day of the competition, for $80,000 and $40,000 prizes, respectively. Microsoft Teams ($75,000) and Ubuntu ($30,000) were also hacked.

The second day ended with $475,000 awarded for 10 unique zero-days.

The STAR Labs team earned the highest prizes on the third day of the competition, one for a VMware Workstation exploit ($80,000) and another for a Microsoft Teams exploit ($75,000).

On the same day, three prizes of $30,000 were earned for Ubuntu hacks and another one for a Windows 11 exploit.

Related: Hackers Earn $180,000 for ICS Exploits at Pwn2Own Miami 2023

Related: Netgear Neutralizes Pwn2Own Exploits With Last-Minute Nighthawk Router Patches

Related: Pwn2Own Offers $100,000 for Home Office Hacking Scenario

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...

Data Breaches

OpenAI has confirmed a ChatGPT data breach on the same day a security firm reported seeing the use of a component affected by an...

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...


The latest Chrome update brings patches for eight vulnerabilities, including seven reported by external researchers.


Patch Tuesday: Microsoft warns vulnerability (CVE-2023-23397) could lead to exploitation before an email is viewed in the Preview Pane.


Apple has released updates for macOS, iOS and Safari and they all include a WebKit patch for a zero-day vulnerability tracked as CVE-2023-23529.

IoT Security

A group of seven security researchers have discovered numerous vulnerabilities in vehicles from 16 car makers, including bugs that allowed them to control car...

IoT Security

A vulnerability affecting Dahua cameras and video recorders can be exploited by threat actors to modify a device’s system time.