Google Offers $3 million to Hackers

Google, which does not take Internet security lightly, has announced its willingness to pay computer hackers up to a total of $3 million to find and exploit its computer software Chrome OS.

The company, based in Mountain View, California, said in March that it would hold its own contest name “Pwnium.” The contest would feature hackers putting their skills together attempting to hack into the ACER Chromebook C720 or Chromebook 11 from Hewlett Packard.

The tech giant said it would pay out $150,000 and $110,000 prizes. In all, Google said it would pay $2.71828 million a reference to e the mathematical constant, a concept that is important to know if writing algorithms.

To receive the payments of $150,000 hackers must compromise the computer in such a way through an Internet page that the computer is under their control even following a reboot. To be given $110,000 the hackers compromise a Chrome OS through an Internet page.

Google announced bonus prizes to those hacks that were clever in their makeup.

The contest will take place at in Vancouver, Canada at the CanSecWest conference on security.

Google has had these types of contests prior to this one as a means to entice computer hackers to find the holes in their security and present them upfront to the company, instead of disturbing users and the Internet giant through hacks at any random time.

Computer hacking has become a huge problem with the onset of commerce on Internet. Large retailers, such as Target and Niemann Marcus have had their computer systems hacked and large amounts of personal data from credit and debit cards have been stolen in the process.

Michaels, the largest U.S. retailer of arts and crafts announced this week it was investigating the possibility of a breach of data for credit and debit card users. The U.S. Secret Service, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are involved in the investigation at Michaels, as well as a computer forensics company.

One small credit union in the Midwest reportedly lost over $400,000 in the Target hack.