Google has announced the Pwnium hacking contest, aimed at singling out those who can hack the firm’s own Chrome OS. The event will be held at a Canadian security conference (CanSecWest, Vancouver 2014) on March 12. The firm will also shell out a massive $2.7 million (total reward pool) for the individual and team winners.
The event, dubbed Pwnium 4, will again put the researchers to the test, but will let them choose between Intel or ARM-powered laptops this time. Last year, the hackers were provided a Chromebook with Intel processors.
It has been noted that a prize money of $150,000 will be rewarded to individuals or teams that demonstrate a ‘Chrome OS system-level compromise delivered via a web page and triggerable when browsing in Guest mode and affecting all subsequent Guest mode sessions across reboots (“persistent Guest-to-Guest exploit”) using bugs in Chrome OS.
Google also says prize money of $110,000 will be rewarded to individuals or teams that demonstrate a Chrome browser-level compromise delivered via a web page using bugs in Chrome OS.
The firm will also offer bonuses to those researchers who can demonstrate a “particularly impressive or surprising exploit,” which is working through a kASLR (kernel Address Space Layout Randomization), a new variant of ASLR anti-exploit technology used by Apple iOS, OS X, Microsoft Windows 8 and Google’s Chrome OS.
Google’s prize money of $2.71828 million comes from a mathematical unit that is the base of natural algorithm. Similarly, last year, the firm kept the prize money of $3.14159 million, which is the (truncated) value of Pi.
The contest is unfortunately not available for residents of Italy, Brazil, Quebec, Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Sudan.
There is no entry fee for the participants. The eligibility for taking part, along with the official competition rules and regulations can be seen on Google’s Chromium Security page.