Successful Google Hack-a-thon

For years now Chrome has been staring down it’s nose at the other browsers when it comes to security. In fact for the last 4 years, Chrome has been entered into HP’s Pwn2Own security competition, and nobody has successfully hacked it, unlike competing browsers.
Chrome finally hacked
This year Google’s Pwnium competition, which offers $1 million for successfully demonstrated exploits, has managed to finally uncover 2 vulnerabilities in the browser’s ‘sandbox’.

The successful hacker, Sergey Glazunov, has earned himself $60,000 for demonstrating his exploit, and a heap of recognition that will no doubt ensure Mr.Glazunov of a promising future in the IT industry.

Sergey’s exploits were patched in just under 24hrs, and now the browser is even more secure than it was previously. Obviously even at $60,000.00 this was a great win for both Google and it’s users. Finding/fixing exploits before they can be used in the wild makes me all warm and fuzzy.

This leaves $940,000.00 of unclaimed cash rewards to anyone else who can find a way to exploit Chrome’s many layers of security.

Happy Sun Spot Day!

Today is also a special day for technology around the planet as we are just getting hit by one of the largest solar flares in 5 years, part of a slightly early 11 year sun-cycle that last ended in 2002.

At the moment the flare activity is a diminished threat based on expectations, or in laymen’s terms it’s currently looking like a dud.

This could change at any moment however and tomorrow is expected to be the peak of flare activity coming from sun spot AR1429. This sun spot has been growing since March 2nd and at this point it’s 7 times the size of planet Earth. It is so large that amature observers are able to photograph the sun spot without a telescope. Here’s an image of sun spot AR1429 that David Tremblay of Alto, New Mexico, took earlier today during a dust storm:

Sun Spot AR1429

While there’s no immediate health risks associated with these flares, our technology isn’t immune to the interference, and sensitive transmissions, such as GPS and flight navigations systems could be compromised at any moment during this event. There is even some concerns about power failures and large outages in the power grid.

NASA as always is the best spot to nerd out and view the event, they even have a 2048×2048 resolution MP4 you can watch if your computer can handle it. Just click the image below to get to the current NASA news page.

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