There will be a new contest called Race-to-Zero, at the Defcon hacker conference this August, one that antivirus vendors already hate. The contest will invite Defcon hackers to find new ways of beating antivirus software. Contestants will get some sample virus code that they must modify and try to sneak past the antivirus products.
Awards will be given for “Most elegant obfuscation,” “Dirtiest hack of an obfuscation,” “Comedy value” and “Most deserving of beer,” contest organizers say.
The contest was announced Friday. Security vendors began panning it immediately, saying it will simply help the bad guys learn some new tricks.
“It will do more harm than good,” said Paul Ferguson, a researcher with antivirus vendor TrendMicro. “Responsible disclosure is one thing, but now actually encouraging people to do this as a contest is a little over the top.”
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