Hacker wins $60,000 prize for breaking into Google Chrome

A hacker known as Pinkie Pie scored another win in a Google-sponsored contest by uncovering a flaw in the Chrome browser.

Hack into Google Chrome, and you could win $60,000, at least if you do it through Google's Pwnium 2 competition.

That's just what happened to a hacker dubbed Pinkie Pie, who won the award on Tuesday by exploiting a security hole in Chrome.

In an effort to shore up its browser's defenses, Google holds the competition to challenge hackers to hack their way through Chrome's security to find previously unknown holes. Tuesday's Pwnium 2 contest was held at the Hack in the Box 2012 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"We're happy to confirm that we received a valid exploit from returning pwner Pinkie Pie," Google announced in a Chromium blog. "This pwn relies on a WebKit Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) compromise to exploit the renderer process and a second bug in the IPC layer to escape the Chrome sandbox. Since this exploit depends entirely on bugs within Chrome to achieve code execution, it qualifies for our highest award level as a 'full Chrome exploit,' a $60,000 prize and free Chromebook."

Google's Chrome team quickly jumped on the exploit as soon as it was discovered, leading to an update to the browser to patch the hole after just 10 hours.

Pinkie Pie also won $60,000 in the first Pwnium competition , held earlier this year.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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