Google sets $2.7m Pwnium prize for Chrome OS Crackers

The Pwnium hacking competition will return for the fourth time in March 2014, with Google offering large prizes for anyone who can hack its Chrome OS.

Security engineer Jorge Lucángeli Obes surprised Pwnium fans by announcing that this year they won’t be picky about hardware restrictions – Past Pwnium competitions have focused on Intel-based Chrome OS devices, but this year researchers can choose between an ARM-based Chromebook, the HP Chromebook 11 (WiFi), or the Acer C720 Chromebook (2GB WiFi) that is based on the Intel Haswell microarchitecture,”

For those who manage to carry out a successful webpage based attack on a Chromebook that installs persistent malware against a guest or logged in users, will receive a $150,000 prize. To win $110,000, an attacker must compromise the browser or the entire system from a guest user account on Chrome OS, with “significant bonuses” for other interesting attacks, up to a limit of $2.71828m

For those with a keen eye, you’ll notice that $2.71828m isn’t a random number but in fact the value of the natural logarithm to the base e (with some rounding up of course).

Perhaps it’s time to brush up on your ethical hacking skills if you want to be in for a chance to win.