In March, HP TippingPoint will hold a competition that awards prizes to hackers who can exploit holes in browsers running on Windows 8.

The Pwn2Own hacking contest will take place between March 6-8 at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The total amount of prize money to be offered is $560,000 and the conference will be co-sponsored by Google.

The exploits must be of previously-unknown vulnerabilities in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE) or Safari, or associated plugins such as Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash or the Oracle Java browser.

Computerworld writes;

Prizes will be awarded on a sliding schedule, with $100,000 for the first to hack Chrome on Windows 7 or IE10 on Windows 8. From there, payments will fall to $75,000 for IE9 and slide through a number of targets before ending at $20,000 for Java. Prizes will also be given for exploiting Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader ($70,000 each), Safari ($65,000) and Firefox ($60,000).

Oracle’s Java lives up to the poor reputation it has for security by having the least amount offered to break it – $20,000.

A Microsoft researcher Kostya Kortchinsky, couldn’t resist poking fun at Oracle and their recent run of bad press about Java when he tweeted, “ZDI giving out $20k for free.”

Not surprisingly, given their role in co-sponsoring the conference, the highest prizes go to hackers that exploit Chrome vs. the other browsers.

Do you find Windows 8 more secure than Windows 7? Share your thoughts below.

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