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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleExploits / vulnerabilities

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?