Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group announced the “BlueHat Prize” competition to reward security researchers for developing innovative, new computer security protection technology.
“The top three winners in the BlueHat Prize competition will earn more than $250,000 in cash and prizes: $200,000 for the grand prize, $50,000 for second place and an MSDN Universal subscription valued at $10,000 for third place. Prizes will be awarded to contestants who design the most effective ways to prevent the use of memory safety vulnerabilities, a key area of focus for Microsoft. Examples of similar technologies include Data Execution Prevention, which helps prevent attacks that attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in software,” Microsoft stated.
The BlueHat Prize has the potential to provide enhanced security for the Windows operating system, as well as for the applications that run on it, which positively impacts independent software vendors.
“The Microsoft BlueHat Prize announced at Black Hat today is an exciting new initiative and a great example of encouraging community collaboration in the defense against those with malicious intent,” said Brad Arkin, senior director, product security and privacy at Adobe. “This call for entries promises to stimulate research activity within the broader security community on how to mitigate entire classes of attacks rather than thinking about software security as a challenge best addressed one bug at a time. This research has the potential to lower costs for third-party developers and increase the level of security assurance for end users. I am looking forward to seeing what the creativity of the community can deliver.”
A panel of Microsoft security engineers will judge submissions based on the following criteria: Practicality and Functionality (30%); Robustness — how easy it would be to bypass the proposed solution (30%); and Impact (40%).
The official rules and guidelines for the competition are available at BlueHat Prize website, and contest submissions will be accepted from Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, until Sunday, April 1, 2012. The winners will be announced at Black Hat USA 2012.