Google wanted hackers to take down its Linux-based Chrome OS running on a base WiFi Samsung Series 5 500 Chromebook. They were willing to pay the best hackers in the world (other than those who are so good that they probably shouldn’t appear at these events) to find exploits with their software. Nobody qualified.
It’s not like there wasn’t enough incentive to try. Google was offering a very geeky $3.14159 million worth of prizes to those who could perform various levels of hacking on their system. These prizes included $110,000 to achieve a browser or system level compromise in guest mode or as a logged-in user, delivered via a web page, and a $150,000 prize to anyone who could compromise with device persistence — guest to guest with interim reboot, delivered via a web page.
Everyone else other than Safari fell during the various events held at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, BC this week. Safari had no attempts made. Beyond operating systems, others fell as well, including Adobe Reader, Flash and Java.
According to Techcrunch:
The focus for this year’s Pwnium 3 was on Chrome OS – and the big push from Google to focus on its operating system, recently introduced in the new, high-end Chromebook Pixel touchscreen laptop, also included increased rewards for hackers finding exploits as well. Although in previous years, rewards maxed out at $60,000 for Chrome browser exploits, the company had earmarked up to $3.14 million for hacks on the OS.
This bodes well as Google continues to push their Chromebooks to start taking more pieces of the hardware pie.
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