Google scraps annual Pwnium bug-hunting contest

Google said the change will prevent researchers from holding onto dangerous bugs in order to claim a big prize

Google is scrapping Pwnium, its annual bug hunting event, and folding it into an existing year-round program in part to reduce security risks.

The company held Pwnium annually at CanSecWest, a security conference in Vancouver, to find security problems in its Chrome OS, Chrome browser and affiliated applications.

But Tim Willis of the Chrome Security Team wrote in a blog post that the annual event isn't best for either researchers or the company.

"If a security researcher was to discover a Pwnium-quality bug chain today, it's highly likely that they would wait until the contest to report it to get a cash reward," Willis wrote. "This is a bad scenario for all parties. It's bad for us because the bug doesn't get fixed immediately and our users are left at risk."

It also increased the chance that the same bug might be submitted by more than one researcher, he wrote. Researchers had to attend the conference as well.

Now, researchers who find bugs in Chrome products can submit them under the Chrome Reward Program, Willis wrote, which has been around since 2010.

Awards range from a minimum of $US500 up to $US50,000, with an unlimited reward pool. But Willis cautioned that Google's lawyers say the program is "experimental and discretionary" and could be cancelled or modified.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GooglesecurityExploits / vulnerabilities

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?