Pwnium 2 Closes After A Single Submission

The $2 million Chrome hacking competition yielded just one serious exploit

Google has officially closed the Pwnium 2 competition which took place at the Hack In The Box conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The only successful exploit was entered by the last year’s winner Pinkie Pie, who could get the main prize of $60,000.

Google had set aside $2 million to pay out the hackers, but it seems that no one but Pinkie Pie could break its popular web browser. However some analysts have suggested that exploit hunters have ignored the competition because they can get more money by selling their findings on the open market.


The second Pwnium competition was announced in August, after the first event uncovered two serious bugs. It was originally put together as an alternative to a similar contest, Pwn2Own, which doesn’t require the hackers to disclose their methods.

© Yuri Arcurs - Fotolia.comTo compete for the main prize, participants have to take control of either a Chrome OS or Windows 7 machine using vulnerabilities in the browser itself. Exploits have to be present in the latest version of Chrome, and the underlying operating system and drivers have to be fully patched.

After the competition closed, Pinkie Pie was the only participant with a successful entry. Last year, the mysterious hacker had strung together six different bugs to break Chrome. Now, a jury put together by Google will evaluate the submission, to decide whether it meets the criteria for the $60,000 award.

Earlier this year, Google announced it was upping the amount it would pay bug bounty hunters for a single find to $20,000. That represented a significant increase over the previous maximum payout of $3,133 that Google announced last summer.

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