Google Wanted: $1 million to hack Chrome

The IT giant Google has offered hackers a reward of up to $1 million for pinpointing vulnerabilities in its Chrome browser.

­The contest, called Pwnium, will be held at this year’s CanSecWest security conference on March 7, the company announced in its blog.

Google will offer prizes of $60,000, $40,000 and $20,000 – up to a total of $1 million – for demonstrating vulnerabilities in Chrome. The value of the prize will depend on whether the exploits identified have their origins solely in the Chrome, or in a combination of bugs in the browser and other software.

The prizes will be paid on a “first-come-first-served” basis. Each winner will also receive a Chromebook – a laptop computer running the Google Chrome OS operating system.

Google is offering such a massive reward so that the flaws of their web browser can be identified and vulnerabilities repaired.

This year’s Pwnium is a splinter from the annual Pwn2Own browser hacking contest held at the same conference. Google has taken part in previous years, but decided to hold a separate competition in 2012. That is because organizer Tipping Point said teams did not have to reveal the techniques they used to breach the browsers’ security.

Last year no team challenged Chrome’s code despite Google’s offering $20,000 on top of the $15,000 prize offered by the organizer. This year’s Pwnium is only offering a combination of Chrome/Windows 7 as the target for hackers.

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