Definition

Pwn2Own

Pwn2Own is an annual hacking competition sponsored by security vendor TippingPoint and held at the CanSecWest security conference.

Pwn2Own encourages experts to hack devices and exploit software for various platforms in an effort to win the device that was hacked and a cash prize. Once a device has been hacked, TippingPoint compiles a detailed report of how the hacker exploited the software and provides it to the product vendor. The report alerts the vendors and guides them in fixing the vulnerable components of their software.

At Pwn2Own 2010, hackers successfully hacked the Apple iPhone and Internet Explorer 8. TippingPoint does not divulge any information about how the software was hacked until after the vendors have fixed the problems.

"Pwn" is a leet speak term meaning to defeat overwhelmingly or to dominate. The word probably originated from a typo when, in the excitement of a decisive win over an opponent, a gamer mistyped "pwn" instead of "own" in a message saying something like "I own you!"

Learn more:

> Read about the iPhone and IE8 hacking at Pwn2Own 2010.

This was last updated in September 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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