Google throws stacks of cash at hackers to publicly crack its Chrome browser

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Despite search titan Google asking hackers to publicly break its Chrome browser for past four years, it wasn’t until yesterday that it finally happened — with the company dishing out thousands of dollars to a hacker who cracked Chrome at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

During Google’s own Pwnium competition, Russian university student Sergey Glazunov won $60,000 for hacking a PC running Chrome. Glazunov discovered a new exploit that only affects Chrome and went around its “sandbox” restriction that is supposed to prevent hackers from accessing an entire computer system, according to ZDNet.

In a separate CanSecWest event called Pwn2Own, hosted by HP, researchers from the security firm VUPEN found a flaw in Chrome in the first five minutes of the competition, according to Pwn2Own’s Twitter account.

Google said it would offer up to $1 million in prizes for Chrome exploits found during its own Pwnium competition, but Glazunov appears to be the biggest winner so far.

Google’s purpose for hosting these hacking competitions is to help the company find out the biggest flaws in its Chrome, patch those flaws, and ultimately make the browser safer. All exploits found during the public competition have to be verified by Google and will no doubt be patched with the latest update for Chrome.

Are you a Chrome user? Have you ever had your credit card or personal data stolen while using it?

Money on keyboard photo: Ruslan Semichev/Shutterstock

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