What is Pwn2Own?

A hacking contest

Pwn2Own is a regularly-held competition in which hackers attempt to gain control of various software and devices, with the first to do so receiving a prize. Typically, the prize consists of cash, the device the hacker hacked, and a commemorative jacket.

The history of Pwn2Own

The first Pwn2Own competition was held in 2007. At that year's CanSecWest security conference, Dragos Ruiu connected two MacBook Pros to the conference's wireless network and challenged hackers to take control of the devices. The first hackers to do so, said Ruiu, would win the laptops as their prizes. (Thus, pwning the laptops let a hacker own them.)

Pwn2Own proved popular enough (and beneficial enough to device and software manufacturers) that it became an annual and then twice-annual competition, sponsored by Zero Day Initiative and other tech companies. The event now consists of several different competitions held at the same time, targeting different software and devices.


You see how fast they were able to crack Microsoft Teams at Pwn2Own? This is why I use Zoom
I mean, they hacked Zoom too
One lucky hacker won a Tesla Model 3 at Pwn2Own 2023
One lucky hacker won a Tesla Model 3 at Pwn2Own 2023

Related Slang


Updated July 5, 2023

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