Pwn2Own and Pwnium 3 Details Announced – Competitions Offer Big Bucks for Hacking Skills

Jan 31, 2013

HP’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) announces details for the annual Pwn2Own competition.

Pwn2Own 2013 will be held at the CanSecWest security conference March 6-8 in Vancouver, BC. This year, HP ZDI is offering rewards for vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques in the following categories.

Web browsers:

  • Google Chrome on Windows 7 (US$ 100,000)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer – either IE 10 on Windows 8 (US$ 100,000) or IE 9 on Windows 7 (US$ 75,000)
  • Mozilla Firefox on Windows 7 (US$ 60,000)
  • Apple Safari on OS X Mountain Lion (US$ 65,000)

Web browser plugins using Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7:

  • Adobe Reader XI (US$ 70,000)
  • Adobe Flash (US$ 70,000)* Oracle Java (US$ 20,000)

Also this year, Google worked with ZDI on the Pwn2Own rules and will be underwriting a portion of the winnings. According to the Chromium blog, the new rules enable “a contest that significantly improves Internet security for everyone.”
Additionally, Google has announced another competition – Pwnium 3 – with rewards totaling up to US$ 3.14159 million for vulnerabilities in Chrome OS. The categories and reward for this competition are:

  • US$ 110,000 for a browser- or system-level compromise in guest mode or as a logged-in user, delivered via a web page.
  • US$ 150,000 for a compromise with device persistence – guest to guest with interim reboot, delivered via a web page.

“The attack must be demonstrated against a base (WiFi) model of the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook, running the latest stable version of Chrome OS. Any installed software (including the kernel and drivers, etc.) may be used to attempt the attack,” according to the Chromium blog.

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