China's Hackers Crack Devices at Tianfu Cup for $1.5M in Prizes

Competitions such as Pwn2Own gives talented hackers the opportunity to crack products from some of the world’s largest technology companies. This weekend is China’s equivalent hacking competition, the Tianfu Cup in Chengdu, China.

The Tianfu Cup is modeled after Pwn2Own in that hackers try to break into the latest devices and systems using original, never-before-seen methods. The competition hosts three concurrent tournaments, to demonstrate vulnerabilities, crack devices, and to compromise operating systems. The device-cracking part of the tournament, where teams have three five-minute attempts to crack a device using an original vulnerability, offers the largest monetary awards.

Targets this year includes Google’s Chrome browser running on Windows 10 21H1, Apple’s Safari browser running on a Macbook Pro, Docker-CE installed on a server running Ubuntu Server 20.04, Linux operating system Ubuntu 20 and CentOS 8 installed on a Lenovo L14 system, Microsoft Exchange Server 2019, Windows 10, VMware Workstation and ESXi, Parallels Desktop, iPhone 13 Pro, Synology DS220j network-attached-storage device, and a ASUS Router AX56U, and others. A “domestic new energy vehicle” is also listed, for a $50,000 prize.

The total prize money for this year’s competition amounts to $1.5 million.

Hacking the iPhone 13 Pro yields the highest prizes, with a $120,000 prize fore a remote code execution exploit, $180,000 for a remote code execution exploit coupled with a sandbox escape, and a $300,000 prize for a remote jailbreak.

The Tianfu Cup is taking place Oct. 16 to Oct. 17 in Chengdu, China.

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