A single researcher who is actually a cyber criminal made $225,000 this week  – that too all by legal means! This cyber research hacker cyber criminally attacked browsers this past week. For the past two days, safety researchers have tumbled down on Vancouver for a Google – sponsored competition called Pwn – 2 – Own, which offers top – dollar prizes for anyone who can exploit bugs, openly in public, with in popular browsers and other extensively used software like Adobe Flash.

So this researcher who performed as a legal cyber criminal came down for this contest and did the unthinkable. He earned more than half a million dollars JUST for exposing 21 bugs. This research must be very good at hacking otherwise, because earning that much amount and exposing a huge amount of bugs means that he transcended the mean bug – catching process.

This year was a for the most part a lucrative one, as this researcher who is named Jung Hoon Lee (also known as loki hardt) came away from the challenge with a record $225,000 for three bugs, affecting Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and the net browser Safari. The Chrome bug was one bug that was most money – spinning, exposing which earned him $110,000 in total, and also bringing in extra money because it involved a beta version of Google Chrome and because Jung Hoon Lee was able to make the most of the bug into the system access. The Chrome bug was revealed in a single two – minute presentation, which, as one spectator pointed out, put Jung Hoon Lee’s earnings at $916 per second.

Jung Hoon Lee proved to be quite  professional hacker at this mere contest which was aimed at exposing bugs but not at such a great level that no one had anticipated. As more bugs were exposed by this bona fide cyber hacker researcher, more money was earned by him. No wonder hacking could have proved to be so advantageous and quite the money – maker!

At the end of the competition, all vulnerabilities are disclosed in private to vendors in the “Chamber of Disclosures.” It is a for the most part high – stakes version of a bug bounty program, a system that has become more and more popular as companies look for officially authorized ways to find out weaknesses before cyber criminals do. This year’s contest found 21 bugs in full amount — including five bugs in Windows, four bugs in Internet Explorer, and three bugs in Mozilla Firefox — and remunerated a total of $557,500 to participating researchers.

On a whole, the whole program showed how even within these very widely used browsers, a large number of bugs and loopholes exist and if one is a proficient hacker (like the researcher Jung Hoon lee) these can be easily exploited and made use of. Hopefully, this is a wakeup call and a proclamation for these companies to strengthen their systems and security interfaces.



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