A teenage hacker, known only as Pinkie Pie, won a cool $60,000 from Google for his full exploit of the company's Chrome browser in Malaysia today (Oct. 10).
His hack involved impersonating the extensions manager and breaking out of Chrome's sandbox, an isolated environment for untrusted applications to run in without access to a computer's essential functions and sensitive data.
"Once he was impersonating the extensions manager, Pinkie used two more bugs to finally break out of the sandbox, Google said. “With these two bugs Pinkie was able to install and run his own NPAPI plug-in that executed outside the sandbox at full user privilege."
The award comes out of a $2 million purse Google has for hackers who can expose Chrome's security flaws in its Pwnium 2 contest at the Hack in the Box conference in Kuala Lumpur.
But this isn't the first time Pinkie Pie, whose name is presumably a reference to a "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" character, has won big with his hacking skills. The anonymous teen compromised Chrome in Vancouver at the CanSecWest conference in March, netting him another $60,000.
Out of all the entries for Pwnium 2, Pinkie Pie's was the only successful one. Google's security teams have already pushed out an update with a congratulations to Pinkie Pie for "another beautiful piece of work."
As technology becomes ever more pervasive in our lives, hackers become younger and younger. Many turn to digital vandalism and mischief out of boredom, but Pinkie Pie is an excellent example of how a young hacker can indulge his desires and make a lot of money doing it.
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