Vulnerability Management

Pwnium 4 prizes aimed at Chrome OS hacks

Participants of Google's upcoming Pwnium 4 competition have a chance to win up to $150,000, but they'll have to find a serious flaw in Chrome OS.

According to a post on the Chromium blog by security engineer Jorge Lucángeli, the search giant's fourth annual hacking contest is focused on the Chrome OS this year, with the big prize awarded to whoever can deliver an attack via a web page that can compromise a computer utilizing the Chrome operating system even after it reboots. Other major vulnerabilities discovered that involve a cyber assault delivered via a web page can also earn $110,000.

While those major flaws will earn top dollar, Google will also award “significant bonuses” for inventive exploits.

Intel-based Chrome OS devices were focused on in previous competitions, but researchers at this year's event can choose from three devices that include an ARM-based Chromebook, a Wi-Fi HP Chromebook 11, or the 2GB Wi-Fi Acer C720 Chromebook, according to Lucángeli's post.

“The attack must be demonstrated against one of these devices running the then-current stable version of Chrome OS,” he wrote.

Pwnium 4 will be held this March at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, Canada. The total pot for this year's contest is $2.71818 million, a play on the mathematical constant e.

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