Teen Scores $60K for Google Hack

Firm awards prizes for exposing security flaws

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 11, 2012 9:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – A teenager has won $60,000 for a "critical" hack into Google's Chrome browser—a prize paid by the tech giant itself. For the second time in a year, the youth, who goes by "Pinkie Pie," has won Google's contest to expose security problems, Venture Beat reports. Google called the hack "another beautiful piece of work," and corrected the issue within 10 hours, Sky News reports.

The prize-winning hack occurred at a Malaysia hacking conference Tuesday after Google launched the contest in August; Pinkie Pie had already won $60,000 in a February iteration of the "Pwnium" competition. The contest included $2 million worth of prizes, including $60,000 awards for "full exploits" and $10,000 for "partial exploits." Facebook also offers cash for hacks. Pinkie Pie reportedly applied for a job with Google last year—but didn't get it.

Eric Shcmidt, executive chairman of Google Inc., shows the Nexus 7 tablet during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.
Eric Shcmidt, executive chairman of Google Inc., shows the Nexus 7 tablet during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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