Why Google Is Offering Hackers an 'Infinity Million Dollars'

What you need to do to collect a sweet payday.

ByALYSSA NEWCOMB
February 25, 2015, 12:14 PM
PHOTO: Google logo is seen on a wall at the entrance of the Google offices on February 5, 2014.
Google logo is seen on a wall at the entrance of the Google offices on February 5, 2014.
Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

— -- How's this for an awesome payday?

Google is offering a reward of an "infinity million dollars" to hackers who bring to light vulnerabilities in its Chrome browser and operating system.

The annual security contest called Pwnium has now become a year-round endeavor for Google. The search engine giant said it hopes the new effort will remove the incentive for "big hoarding" in which hackers would wait to collect a reward from the once-a-year contest.

"By allowing security researchers to submit bugs all year-round, collisions are significantly less likely and security researchers aren't duplicating their efforts on the same bugs," Tim Willis, a hacker philanthropist on the Chrome Security Team, wrote in a blog post.

Hackers can earn between $500 and $50,000 for each bug they discover, according to the rules, which go into effect today.

As expected for a company offering an "infinity million dollars," Google did include a legal disclaimer.

"Our lawyercats wouldn't let me say 'never-ending' or 'infinity million' without adding that 'this is an experimental and discretionary rewards program and Google may cancel or modify the program at any time,'" Willis wrote.

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