Google offers $20K bounty to hack Chrome browser

Yes, it’s Pwn2Own time again! And this year, Google is offering a cool $20K bounty to any hacker capable of cracking its popular Chrome browser.

According to guidelines posted on the DV Labs Tipping Point website, the challenging contest will be held over a two or three day period. 

“On day 1, Google will offer $20,000 USD and the CR-48 if a contestant can pop the browser and escape the sandbox using vulnerabilities purely present in Google-written code,” explained Aaron Portnoy of DV Labs.

“If competitors are unsuccessful, on day 2 and 3 the ZDI (Zero Day Initiative) will offer $10,000 for a sandbox escape in non-Google code and Google will offer $10,000 for the Chrome bug. Either way, plugins other than the built-in PDF support are out of scope.”

So, what are the chances that a hacker will successfully manage to bypass Chrome’s heavy digital security and claim $20,000?

Well, as ZDNet’s Ryan Naraine points out, Google’s Chrome was the only browser left standing during last year’s heated Pwn2Own contest.

“[Still], with the enhanced cash prize – and publicity that goes along with a successful Chrome hack – there is a strong likelihood that someone will take aim at [the browser] this year,” opined Naraine.

Of course, DV Labs is also offering a sweet $15,000 cash prize to the lucky hacker who manages to breach IE, Safari, or Firefox – so all is not lost if Chrome remains in total lockdown for yet another year.