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Pwn2Own hacking contest puts record $560K on the line

January 18, 2013 10:57 AM ET

But it was the cash that caught researchers' attention.

The $100,000 prize for an exploit of Chrome or IE10, for example, was 67% more than Google paid last year in its inaugural Pwnium contest, and over six times the maximum paid at Pwn2Own in 2011 for hacking a desktop browser.

The always-quotable Charlie Miller, who won prizes at Pwn2Own four years in a row -- the only "four-peat" in the contest's history -- bemoaned the high awards.

"I have to say the Pwn2Own prize money is serious," Miller said on Twitter yesterday. "I feel like a 1950's pro athlete wondering why current athletes are paid so much."

Miller, who won at Pwn2Own while a security consultant, now works for Twitter.

Others took up Miller's line of thought, with Larry Seltzer, a long-time security reporter and now the editorial director of Byte, chiming in with, "They're all using exploit-enhancing drugs these days."

TippingPoint has published the 2103 Pwn2Own rules on its website, and will provide updates during the contest via a dedicated Twitter account.

covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at Twitter @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed Keizer RSS. His email address is

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