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#1 Crisp


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:56

A piece of the pi: Google offers $3.14159 million in cash rewards to any hacker who can crack its Chrome operating system

Google is so confident in security on the company's Chrome operating system its offering $3.14159 in cash rewards for successful hacks of the system at this year's Pwnium hacking contest.

The figure is a nod to pi, an irrational number that has intrigued mathematicians for thousands of years.

Previously the tech giant has offered reward of $1 million and $2 million to crack its systems.

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Hack: Crack the Chrome OS and you could win millions

The most likely outcome is that multiple hacks momentarily compromise the system with several contestants earning up to $100,000 each, or $150,000 should their hack survive a system reboot.

For a hack to count, it must be delivered via webpages on a basic-model Samsung 550 Chromebook over a Wi-Fi connection.

'We believe these larger rewards reflect the additional challenge involved with tackling the security defenses of Chrome OS, compared to traditional operating systems,' Google Chrome developer Chris Evans wrote.

Google's previous contestes - CanSecWest 2012 and Hack in the Box - focused on compromising the Chrome browser but not the same-named OS.

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Online: Hacks will only count on a Samsung laptop and done via Wi-Fi

Pwnium was started last year as an alternative to the Pwn2Own contest after the latter temporarily changed its rules so that successful hackers didn't have to show their methods.

For some commercial hackers who only sell their secrets to the highest bidder the change was welcome.

For Pwnium, contests can keep their true identities a secret. A teenager only identified as Pinkie Pie - a name shared by a My Little Pony character - has won $60,000 at each Pwnium.

While Google calls Chrome OS its most secure operating system its market share is so small it hasn't yet faced a real world field-test.

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Niche: Though Google believes its operating system is solid, its market share is so small it hasn't had a real world field test

However the Pwn2Own prize for cracking the Chrome browser is $100,000 but only $60,000 for Firefox and $65,000 for Safari. Internet Explorer running on Windows 8 wins $100,000 and IE 9 on Windows 7 nets $75,000.

Pwn2Own winners also get to keep the contest provided laptops.

Pwnium hasn't said whether winners will be able to leave with their Chromebooks but as they only run $450 its likely the company won't lose sleep over the losses.

Google has never once paid out the full amount offered for a Chrome browser crack.


#2 AbandonedTrolley


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 15:35

The figure in your quote doesn't mention it's millions. :p

Google is so confident in security on the company's Chrome operating system its offering $3.14159 in cash rewards for successful hacks of the system at this year's Pwnium hacking contest.

#3 Jason S.

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 15:42

what does 'crack' mean exactly?

#4 Hurmoth


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 16:09

The source article has it in the title. Has to be a typo in the body on Mail Online's part. Wonderful journalism these days. Where are the editors at? My local news, both the newspaper and the CBS affiliate, have horrible typos all the time.

#5 Aheer.R.S.


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 16:11

I'll take a try, where's my hammer?

#6 Mr.XXIV


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 16:11

what does 'crack' mean exactly?

A "hole" in the pavement.

#7 Growled


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:34

If someone can come up with a crack they will be very rich. Anything can be cracked.

#8 Hum


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:12

what does 'crack' mean exactly?

I guess take control in some way -- cause the OS to crash.