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Google offering $350k in prizes through its new Project Zero hacking contest

Think you can hack a smartphone? Do you want to win a lot of money? You might want to check out Google's new Project Zero hacking contest.

Published onSeptember 14, 2016

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Are you the type that can hack a smartphone? Are you interested in winning up to $200,000? If you answered ‘yes’ to both of these questions, you should check out Google’s new Project Zero hacking contest.

Google, along with plenty of other major tech companies, already have a number of vulnerability rewards programs put in place, but one more can’t hurt. That’s why, in an effort to continue squashing as many bugs as possible, Google has announced The Project Zero Prize. The goal here is to find a vulnerability or bug chain that can achieve remote code execution on multiple Android devices. There’s one catch, though – you’ll need to achieve remote code execution by only knowing the device’s phone number and associated email address. If you succeed, you’ll be able to win the following prizes:

  • First prize: $200,000 USD, awarded to the first winning entry
  • Second prize: $100,000 USD, awarded to the second winning entry
  • Third Prize: At least $50,000 USD awarded by Android Security Rewards, and also awarded to additional winning entries

Additionally, Google says folks who submit a winning entry will be invited to write a short technical report on their entry that will be posted on the Project Zero Blog. Pretty cool, right?

Best Android security practices

Google notes that this contest is a bit different from other contests. You see, instead of saving up bugs until you have a full bug chain, participants will instead be asked to report the bugs in the Android issue tracker. They can then be used as a part of submission by the participant at any time during the six-month contest period. Only the first person to file a bug will be able to use it as part of their submission, so you’ll want to file as early as you can.

If you’re interested in learning more about the contest, you’ll want to check out the full list of contest rules and FAQs for all the details. The contest started on Tuesday, so get to hacking!

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