Search giant Google has announced that it is offering adventurous hackers a $2.7m (£1.6m) bounty if they can successfully expose flaws in the source code behind its Chrome operating system and internet browser.
In an event called ‘Pwnium 4’, Google has specified that attacks, if they are to be eligible for the cash prize, have to be triggered remotely using a Chromebook to visit – and partially take over – a website.
Google has stated that it will give $150,000 (£90,000) to anyone who is able to highlight a vulnerability.
While hackers will have the chance to snatch up a number of smaller rewards for partial exposures, the Californian company confirmed that significantly larger cash prizes will be issued for “particularly impressive or surprising” exploits.
The rewards are set to be given on a first-come, first-served basis until the $2.7m set aside especially for the competition has run out.
The contest is scheduled to take place at the Vancouver CanSecWest conference in March.
For companies with a strong search engine optimisation strategy in place, a strengthening of any of the most widely used internet browsers can only be a good thing.
Statistics compiled by W3Schools.com show that today, Chrome comfortably retains the number one spot among the biggest internet browsers. The data reveals that Chrome overtook Firefox to the number one spot in March 2012, and has since then gradually increased its market share.
In December last year, 55.8% of users accessed the web using Chrome, while 26.8% used Firefox and 9.0% used Internet Explorer.