In Advance of Hacking Competition, Firefox and Chrome Get Fortified

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 02, 2011

Every year since 2007, in conjunction with the CanSecWest security conference, many of the world's most talented hackers have competed for hacking prizes at the Pwn2Own competition.  This year's competition is next week, and both the  Firefox browser and Google Chrome have been fortified with fixes in anticipation of sophisticated attempts to hack the world's leading open source browsers.

Mozilla fixed 10 bugs overall, and made fixes in several versions of Firefox, as noted here.  The recent bug fixes address Javascript issues, a widely reported problem involving certain types of JPG images and more. Mozilla also issued an advisory regarding a bug found by researcher Peleus Uhley.

In advance of the Pwn2Own competition, Google is also fortifying the Chrome browser with fixes. The company is offering $20,000 to the researcher that can most successfully hack the Chrome browser.  Chrome has been through many bug fixes this week.

The Pwn2Own-driven bug fixes are part of a general trend toward cash bounties for anyone who can find significant flaws in widely used open source applications. This year's competition features $125,000 in total prizes for skilled hackers. We've reported before on the fact that Mozilla, Google and lots of other open source-focused companies are relying on cash bug bounties to help keep their applications secure. You can read much more about Google and Mozilla's cash bounty successes here