Via offers $5000 reward to break its StrongBox

Via is offering a $5,000 prize to the hacker that can break its StrongBox security application.

Taiwanese microprocessor vendor Via Technologies is offering a US$5,000 prize to the hacker that can break its StrongBox security application during a hacking contest at the Hack in the Box Security Conference being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this week.

Announced on Tuesday, StrongBox uses a combination of hardware-based SHA-1 and 256-bit AES encryption to create a secure virtual drive of up to 40G bytes on a computer. The application is designed for computers based on Via's C7 and C7-M processors that have the company's PadLock Security Engine.

The hacking contest will require hackers to break into a StrongBox virtual drive on a C7-M-based notebook computer. The winner will be the first hacker to successfully overcome the application's encryption and read a document stored inside.

Richard Brown, Via's vice president of corporate marketing, said the company feels confident the hardware-based encryption used with StrongBox will not be broken during the hacking contest in Malaysia.

StrongBox was developed to showcase the hardware encryption capabilities of the C7 and C7-M processors and to offer a secure means of protecting information stored on a notebook computer in the event of loss or theft, according to Brown. "We're trying to highlight the kind of applications that can be developed using PadLock," he said.

Via StrongBox can be downloaded for free from

Hack in the Box runs through Sept. 29.

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Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
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