Pwn2Own 2012 Is Coming

By | February 20, 2012

Pwn2Own 2012 Is ComingPwn2Own, a computer hacking contest, which will begin on March 7th in Vancouver, British Columbia, has slightly modified its concept, according to sources.

First of all, smartphone hacks have been dropped completely in favor of the web browser exploits against Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari running on both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Furthermore, instead of rewarding only those who exploit security flaws in the first few hours, which is usually the case, this time Pwn2Own organizers will use points based system with all platforms in play.

To make contest even more interesting, cash prizes will be increased as the first three place winners will take $60,000, $30,000 and $15,000 respectively. In addition to that, Google will include another prize of $20,000 for Chrome hacks only.

And before you ask, still no news about the inclusion of other web browsers, such as Opera.

[Thanks, Shane]

[Via TheRegister]

About (Author Profile)

Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

Comments (23)

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  1. Armin says:

    The last line of this piece is a truly unfortunate one. I am really interested in how Opera would do, as I am sure are many others. It would also grant Opera more publicity.

  2. Rafael says:

    We already know what the results will be…

  3. adumpaul says:

    Pwn2Own should be a nice contest.

  4. Anonymous says:

    They lost any credability they had by excluding Opera because of its already proven track record of great security.

  5. Nop says:

    Correct me if wrong but is it the reason why opera isnt included in every pwn2Own contest its because its easily “hackable” and opera team dont want to embarassed themselves?

    im not bashing opera im just curious on why every pwn2own opera isnt included.

    • Mikah says:

      They can include any browsers they want they do not have to get Opera’s permission.
      If it was included I doubt it would do very well , maybe its low user base would mean it’s not such a tempting target for the hackers & lack of prior experience would offer some protection.
      Kinda of nice knowing Opera is guaranteed to be one of the browsers that does not get hacked.

    • Anonymous says:

      The guy that runs Pwn2Own (Aaron Portnoy) uses Opera himself.  Make of that what you will…

  6. Guest says:

    because noone cares about opera. they are boring, their browser has no character and its technologically years behind chrome. all their recent inventions were crap – unite and pathetic bookmarklet ‘extensions’. hardly a good track record. while other browsers gained much PR doing what people wanted – HW and lots of USEFULL css/html5. bad planning/ bad marketing/ terrible PR and no recognition – opera

    list me a major site that works in opera in EXACTLY the same way as in chrome/ff?

    you cant, can you?

    • Anonymous says:

      “working with a site” and a site being build to web standards are two VERY different things.

      Opera adheres to Web Standards, and if you write your website to those web standards, it will work just fine in Opera, it will also work just fine in Opera Mobile, and any other browser than strictly adheres to web standards.

      Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE are mostly web standards compliant, but have many browser specific quirks, when you see a site working in Chrome and not in Opera, a simpleton might come to the conclusion it’s the browser, however the reality is the site was written poorly and hacked to work with specific browsers.

      For badly written major websites, Opera fixes their code for them, on-the-fly using Browser,js, which modifes the website when you visit it, to fix all the coding errors and make it work as it should.

      Whilst it’s mostly patching to fix web standards and poorly coded sites, it does also from time to time work around Opera bugs, however once the bugs get fixed in Opera, the patches get revoked.

      • Guest says:

         bah blah blah.. mr obvious, what matters for users is that it does not work, period

        no matter how opera tries and tries (and cries) it is not enough. they are paying for their stupid and stubborn past decisions to prioritize some stuff (not used by anyone else) over other (stuff like full implementation of XHR or some css stuff, that all other browsers included, excluding opera ofc). result is – noone cares about opera. live with it.

        hallvors and his men are fighting a lost battle – few against the entire internet. they will not win, mostly because it seems that no major website gives a damn to just test against opera. facebok? yahoo? twitter? google? ms? amazon? NOTHING really works well in opera now – just compare the functionalities in all browsers and tell me that these are the same. for users it is opera’ fault

        so live with it

        and btw – only a complete fool can write ‘if a page is written to a standard, then it will work’. go and read html4.1 ‘standard’ spec and tell me how it is possible that two browsers can have a complete different implementation and still be ‘standard compliant’ – date JS object is a perfect example for ‘simpletons’. same goes for default settings and values – also, a) unspecified by spec b) different across the browsers.

        or rather, similar in all browsers except opera.

        current web standard is a fallacy for uneducated. html5 might change that, as it is a well-written (compared to html4) but it will take years for html5 to replace html4 websites.

  7. Sturrell says:åkon_Wium_Lie  works the same you might want to read the article 
    the guy works for Opera .
    “He is best known for proposing the concept of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) while working with Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at CERN in 1994”
    As far as I know Opera, Firefox & Chrome don’t make Hardware they produce Software.

  8. livrenathan says:

    Opera is not included because it is unhackable. And I prove it :

    August 2011, a certificate authority is hacked. All browsers are concerned, except Opera :

    February 2012, Google bypasses protections on IE and Webkit browsers. (Firefox has removed its one) Opera is the only browser that can block third party cookies correctly :

    • Armin says:

      Very impressive, but don’t call it unhackable.or else some hacker will go “challenge accepted” on its ass. :[

    • apád anyád says:

       Dude, that would be more of a reason to try and hack it, instead of removing it from the contest.

  9. notorius says:

    intentare aver si me gano el dinero

  10. Gaudius says:

    For those that say bla bla bla to the real “knowers”, Opera is the best browser on earth and the people of this contest know it.  They don’t want to appear as losers for not achieving the goal with this browser.

    The easy way is letting Opera out, the easy way to get the money is:  ” please let Opera browser out”….

    ok guest? 

  11. Freddy9999 says:

    I use opera for nearly 11 years and it’s a great browser. I noticed however that only advanced users like it. And sadly it also has it’s major flaws, like terribly slow javascript engine (and i don’t mean benchmark tests – ex. try to scroll some page in opera and different browsers – it’s not smooth, and i have 8GB RAM, ramdisk cache, and Quad Core!!!). The reason of disliking Opera, is that people doesn’t use advanced features it offers. Opera was originaly made for disabled people (voice synth, ability to zoom pages [not expanding text size, but actually zooming all page], mouse gestures [ex. left mouse button + right mouse button -> next page, or changing tabs with right click + roll], one key shortcuts [originaly disabled, but can be activated], and many, many more). Chrome is faster in rendering pages, but try to watch 10 pages of google search in less than 10 sec. In Opera it’s just [space][space][lmb+rmb]x10, and you don’t have to move your mouse even for 1 inch.

    PS. Btw. Chrome is sending user statistics to Google. I personally advise you to switch to SRWare Iron. it’s also based on Chromium engine, but without all that Google s**t.