In a sign that it is strongly confident about the security of its Chrome operating system, Google Inc is daring hackers to take down the software. The giant technology firm is offering a whopping $2.7 million to any security expert who can ‘pwn’ the Chrome OS during the ‘Pwnium 4’ annual hacking contest.
Any researcher from all around the world could participate in this contest. Registration for contestants would close in March 10 (Monday) at 5:00 p.m. PST. The company had a strong reminder that only exploits that were entered on time would be eligible to take the pot money.
This year, Google is also making the annual dare hacking contest different. Participants of the contest could now select laptops that are powered by either Intel or ARM. Last year, the contest was only limited to Intel-powered Google Chromes.
Confidence on security
In a statement, the company said that security remains as a core tenet for Chromium. Thus, an annual competition is held to learn from various security researchers about how to further improve the OS. This year’s Pwnium 4 would be held at CanSecWest security conference found in Vancouver, Canada.
Rewards for eligible exploits include $110,000 for compromising the browser or system while logged in as user or while in the guest mode. $150,000 would be given to those who could compromise on a guest to guest setup within interim reboot. Both should be delivered through a Web page.
This year, Google would also consider several bonuses for surprising and impressive exploits. Those may include memory corruption, defeating kASLR, and exploitation of kernel directly from renderer process.
The annual competition is welcoming the ARM-based Chromebook. Participants could also use Acer C720 Chromebook and the HP Chromebook 11 (Wi-Fi). The Acer unit has 2GB Wi-Fi and is based on Intel Haswell microarchitecture.
The contest requires participants to demonstrate hacking of any of the specified devices. Those must run current stable versions of the Chrome OS. The company allows any software that may be included in default installation to be used as part of the strategic attempt to attack the system.
Google seems to be putting Chrome OS to greater exposure these days. This news came as the company recently launched Chrome apps, which is now available for downloading at the popular iOS and Androids devices.