Google to pay hackers to test Chrome software

BY Sam Lane  January 24, 2014 at 5:08 PM EST

Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Photo by Getty Images.

Tech giant Google plans to pay hackers a total of nearly $3 million to find holes in its Chrome OS computer software.

The Los Angeles Times reported the company will hold a contest in March called “Pwnium.” Participants will have the chance to hack either the HP Chromebook 11 or the Acer C720 Chromebook.

Google will award prizes in the amounts of $110,000 and $150,000. To earn the lower prize, hackers must compromise the system through a web page. To earn the $150,000 award, hackers have to be able to keep control of the computer even after it has been rebooted.

Google has used similar contests in the past to prevent unexpected hacks.