It's time to get out your pocket-squares and zit cream, Pwn2Own is coming up! This annual hacking competition, which takes place every March, gives hackers a chance to break into new systems, and to get paid for doing so. Companies like Apple, Google, and Firefox will offer up monetary prizes to geeks who can hack into their products.
In the past the prize money has been around $15,000. But this year is different. Google is offering $20,000 and a free Chrome CR-48 laptop to anyone who can successfully exploit two vulnerabilities in its code.
Two things. One, if Google really wanted to show confidence in Chrome, shouldn't the prize money be like, $2 million? And two, this seems like a great way to find and hire Google's next member of their security team. Let the hacking begin!
Personally, I am not impressed by the $20,000 award. That must mean they expect to give that money away, and have hedged their bet. What's also interesting is that both Firefox and Apple are only offering $15K to anyone who can hack their browser's security. That sounds like chump change.
Offer up $500K and you'll have my attention, and the top spot in my choice of browser. With each company worth billions, let's up the ante her folks and get some serious money on the table.
Of course this is all publicity for Chrome, which is currently third in popularity behind Internet Explorer and Firefox, but I think there's something more to it. What a great way to find the flaws in the system, and to find the guy who is smart enough to discover them!
When the Pwn2Own goes down, will Google hand out $20K, a laptop, and a job to the person who can hack Chrome? It seems natural.
If you fancy yourself a computer wiz, have time to take a 3-day trip to Vancouver in March, and have always wanted to work for Google, get packing, and get hacking. You're shot's coming up!
What do you think of the hacking competition?
Photo via KitFoxlnk/Flickr