The Pwn2Own hacking competition, which is organized annually by TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative, is back again for its fourth year. This year, the total prize money has been increased to $100K. The competition will be at the CanSecWest security conference held in Vancouver, BC on March 24th 2010. If you successfully exploit a target you get to keep the laptop along with a cash prize and other benefits.
The previous Pwn2Own competitions has always made big news with the exploits of the hackers taking part in the contest. In its 2008 edition, it made news after the Ubuntu OS could not be exploited even after 3 days of the contest. And in 2009, it made big news after Mac OS was hacked in 5 seconds.
This year the competition will have two main technology targets - web browsers and mobile phones.
$40K of the total $100K cash prize pool is allotted to the web browser portion of the contest, each target is worth $10K. The browser targets this year will include the latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari.
The remaining $60K prize money is allotted to the mobile phone portion of the contest. There will be four mobile phones in this category, each woth $15K in pize money - Apple iPhone 3GS, RIM Blackberry Bold 9700, a Nokia device running Symbian S60 (likely the E62) and a Motorola phone running Android (likely the Droid).