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Google is offering a $1.5 million reward to anyone who can pull off a complex Android hack

Business Insider logo Business Insider 11/22/2019 Aaron Holmes
a person holding a phone © Crystal Cox/Business Insider
  • Google is offering prizes to anyone who can find bugs or vulnerabilities in certain Android devices.
  • The company has offered rewards for hacks since 2015, but announced a new top prize of $1.5 million on Thursday.
  • The top reward Google paid out in 2019 was $161,337.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Google thinks its Pixel device is pretty secure - so secure that it's challenging aspiring hackers to show they can compromise it, and offering $1.5 million as a top prize.

The company announced Thursday that it will pay $1 million to anyone who can carry out a full chain remote code execution exploit that compromises the Titan M secure chip built into Pixel devices. That means hackers would have to gain access to a Pixel's operating system remotely in a way that doesn't require any interaction with the phone's user.

The winner will get a 50% bonus if they carry out the hack on a version of Android that's still in developer preview stages, making the top prize $1.5 million.

The newly announced rewards build on Google's Android Security Rewards program, created in 2015. The company offers a range of awards for different hacker feats, most of which range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Google said it shelled out more than $1.5 million in rewards in 2019 so far, with an average of $3,800 per finding. The largest single reward in 2019 was $161,337.

Google isn't the only company offering top dollar to benevolent hackers who can find holes in its security - Apple announced in August that it would pay $1 million to anyone who could pull off a zero-click full chain execution hack.

Read about the Android Security Rewards program on Google's site.

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