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Pwn2Own contest highlights renewed hacker focus on kernel issues

Lucian Constantin | March 21, 2016
All Pwn2Own exploits this year achieved privilege escalation, mostly through OS kernel flaws.

This trend is likely to continue, so hopefully OS vendors will focus more on the security of their kernels, they said.

The winner of this year's contest was Tencent Security Team Sniper, which accumulated 38 "Master of Pwn" points and received a total cash prize of $142,500 for their exploits. Independent researcher JungHoon Lee won more money -- $145,000 -- but scored less points overall: 25. He took second place.

360Vulcan Team from Chinese Internet security company Qihoo 360 came in third place with 25 points and $132,500 and a second team from Chinese Internet giant Tencent -- the Tencent Security Team Shield -- took fourth place with 10 points and a $40,000 prize. Tencent Xuanwu, a third Tencent team, did not manage to score at all.

The $75,000 bounty placed this year by the contest sponsors on a virtual machine escape for VMware Workstation was not won by any of the contestants.

 

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