For four years, Google has held an annual bug hunting contest called Pwnium, but now it is cancelling the event in favor of a program that will offer payments for security vulnerabilities whenever they are found. “We’ve received some great entries over the years, but it’s time for something bigger,” blogged Google’s Tim Willis. “Starting today, Pwnium will change its scope significantly, from a single-day competition held once a year at a security conference to a year round, worldwide opportunity for security researchers.”
Last year, Google offered a total of $2.7 million to researchers who found security bugs in Chrome. According to Willis, the new fund “goes all the way up to $∞ million.” The company has also increased the top reward for individual payouts to $50,000. Google says that it hopes that the new program will encourage developers and hackers to report bugs when they find them instead of waiting for the Pwnium event.