Employees of Trend Micro and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, related companies, advertising and promotional agencies, and the household members of any of the above, as well as residents of the Province of Quebec are not eligible to participate in the Contest.

Contestants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of registration in order to participate and may not be a resident of any U.S. embargoed or sanctioned country or otherwise be listed on any U.S. denied or barred persons list. Any software or technology that attendees bring or cause to be transferred to Canada for the Contest may be subject to the export controls of attendee’s country of residence or travel origin or subject to the import and export requirements in Canada. Attendees are responsible for compliance with any applicable import and export controls as a result of their attendance at the Contest.

Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and/or eligibility to participate in the Contest. Failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification. All personal and other information requested by and supplied to the Sponsor for the purpose of the Contest must be truthful, complete, accurate, and in no way misleading. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any contestant should such contestant at any stage supply untruthful, incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading personal details and/or information.

If you are a public sector employee, it is critical that you verify the ethics code, laws, and/or regulations that govern your ability to accept items of value from companies with whom you conduct business. Please obtain the necessary approval from your organization before participating in the Contest and/or accepting any item of value from Sponsor. In addition, public-sector employees, employees of K-12 public and private education institutions and all libraries, including public, private school, college or university, research, and private libraries can participate in the Contest only if you are doing so outside of your official status and not as part of your employment with those entities.


The Contest will be held March 15th – 17th, 2017, during the CanSecWest 2017 Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.


This Contest is open to all registrants in the CanSecWest 2017 Conference, subject to the eligibility requirements herein. Contestants must be on-site at the conference to demonstrate their entry. No purchase is required to participate in the Contest.

All contestants must sign up for a Zero Day Initiative™ ("ZDI") Researcher account in order to participate. Sign up is free and can be completed at Once a contestant is signed up as a ZDI Researcher, the contestant can register for the contest by contacting Sponsor via e-mail at and indicating in which categories the contestant wishes to participate.

The contestant can register multiple entries for a given category but each entry must be for a different target in that category. Every entry must be a separate and unique exploit chain. Specific details about the targets (software, versions, configurations, etc) will be communicated to contestants during the registration process.

The Sponsor reserves the right to deny registration to entries that do not comply with the rules during the registration process. Contest registration closes at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on March 12th, 2017.


Trend Micro is offering cash and prizes during the competition for vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques against the listed targets in the below categories. The first contestant to successfully compromise a target within the selected category will win the prize amount indicated for that specific target. All prizes are in US currency.

The contest has five categories consisting of:

Virtual Machine Escape (Guest-to-Host) Category


An attempt in this category must be launched from within the guest operating system from a non-admin account and execute arbitrary code on the host operating system. Both the guest and the host operating system will be running Microsoft Windows 10 x64.

Local Escalation of Privilege Category


An attempt in this category must be launched from within the target under test from a non-admin or non-root account. In this category, the entry must leverage a kernel vulnerability to escalate privileges.

Web Browser and Plugins Category


An attempt in this category must be launched from the target under test. For example, launching the target under test from the command line is not allowed.

In this category, the contestant will receive an additional $30,000 (USD) if their entry achieves SYSTEM-level code execution on Windows-based targets or will receive an additional $20,000 (USD) if their entry achieves root-level code execution on macOS-based targets.

In this category, the Windows-based targets will be running in a VMware Workstation virtual machine. If the contestant escapes the VMware Workstation virtual machine and achieves code execution on the host operating system, the contestant will receive an additional $100,000 (USD). This prize is only eligible on the Windows-based targets listed above.

Enterprise Applications Category


An attempt in this category must be launched from the target under test. For example, launching the target under test from the command line is not allowed. Microsoft Office-based targets will have Protected View enabled.

Server Side Category


An attempt in this category must be launched from the contestant laptops within the contest network.

The contestant with the highest total points at the end of the contest ("Master of Pwn") will receive 65,000 ZDI reward points (estimated at $25,000 (USD)). Total points are calculated by the sum of the successful entries based on the following point allocations:




Virtual Machine Escape

VMware Workstation


Microsoft Hyper-V


Local Escalation of Privilege (EoP)

Microsoft Windows


Apple macOS


Ubuntu Desktop


Web Browser and Plugins

Microsoft Edge


Google Chrome


Mozilla Firefox


Apple Safari


Adobe Flash in Edge


+ Escalation to SYSTEM (Windows)


+ Escalation to Root (macOS)


+ Virtual Machine Escape


Enterprise Applications

Adobe Reader


MS Office Word


MS Office Excel


MS Office PowerPoint


Server Side

Apache Web Server


For example, if a contestant has two successful entries (Microsoft Edge with a SYSTEM escalation of privilege and Google Chrome without a SYSTEM escalation of privilege) their total points would be 24 points. If two or more contestants have the same number of points at the end of the contest, each of these contestants will receive 65,000 ZDI reward points (estimated at $25,000 (USD)).

Along with the prize money, the first round winner for a given category will win a laptop (estimated at $1,000 (USD)). Winners of these prizes are not entitled to the difference, if any, between the actual prize value and the estimated prize value. The estimated prize value is as of the date of printing of these Contest Rules.

It is possible that a category may have no winner. If a category has no winner, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, choose to use the prize money from that category to offer additional prize(s) in another above listed category that may be equal to or less than the initial prize offering for such category. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible participants in a category and the ability to meet the requirements of this skills-based Contest. Prizes will be distributed within eight (8) weeks after each winner has fulfilled the requirements set out herein.

Prizes must be accepted as awarded and cannot be transferred, assigned, substituted, or redeemed for cash except at the sole discretion of Sponsor. Any unused portion of a prize will be forfeited and have no cash value. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if a prize (or any portion thereof) cannot be awarded for any reason. Taxes on prizes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winner.

Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to add or modify the categories if a new version of one of the targets is released, hardened, or recalled between the release of the Contest Rules and the Contest.

The Sponsor shall not assume any liability for any lost or misdirected prizes.


If more than one contestant registers for a given category, the order of the contestants will be drawn at random. Based on the contestant order, the first contestant will be given an opportunity to attempt to compromise the selected target. If unsuccessful, the next randomly drawn contestant will be given an opportunity. This will continue until a contestant successfully compromises the target. The first contestant to successfully compromise a selected target will win the prize money for that target in that category. After a target has been compromised, the contest for that category is over and no other contestants will participate in the contest for that category (unless Sponsor has offered an additional winner option, which would be announced at the conference if applicable).

A successful entry must leverage a vulnerability to modify the standard execution path of a program or process in order to allow the execution of arbitrary instructions. The entry is required to defeat the target's techniques designed to ensure the safe execution of code, such as Data Execution Prevention (DEP), Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and application sandboxing. The resulting payload should be executing in an elevated context (for example, on Windows-based targets, Medium integrity level or higher).

A contestant has up to three (3) attempts to succeed. Each of the 3 attempts will be individually limited to a time period of five (5) minutes. For an attempt to be deemed successful, all elements of the attempt must complete within the 5-minute window. All three (3) attempts must be completed within 30 minutes, excluding network configuration or device prerequisite time.

A successful attack against these targets must require no user interaction beyond the action required to browse to the malicious content and must occur within the user's session with no reboots, or logoff/logons. For example, having to interact with a dialog in order to successfully complete the exploit or writing a malicious file to the Startup folder is not allowed. If a sandbox is present, a full sandbox escape is required to win. A given vulnerability may only be used once across all categories.

The initial vulnerability utilized in the attack must be in the registered target. The sandbox escape utilized in the attack must be in the registered target (unless the attack leverages a SYSTEM-level privilege escalation).

The targets will be running on the latest, fully patched version of the operating system available on the selected target (Microsoft Windows 10 x64, Apple macOS Sierra, Ubuntu 16.10 for Desktop, and Ubuntu 16.10 for Server). All targets will be 64-bit, if available, and installed in their default configurations. The vulnerabilities utilized in the attack must be unknown, unpublished, and not previously reported to the vendor.

Sponsor reserves the right to solely determine what constitutes a successful attack. The Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, choose to accept the entry(ies) and offer the prize(s) at a value less than the initial prize offering for a given category if the Sponsor deems that part of the exploit chain fails to meet the above rules.

Upon successful demonstration of the exploit, the contestant will provide Sponsor with a fully functioning exploit plus a whitepaper explaining the vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques used in the attack. In the case that multiple vulnerabilities were exploited to gain code execution, details about all of the vulnerabilities (memory corruption, infoleaks, escalations, etc.) leveraged and the sequence in which they are used must be provided to receive the prizes. Vulnerabilities and exploit techniques revealed by contest winners will be disclosed to the affected vendors and the exploits and whitepapers will become the property of the Sponsor in accordance with the ZDI researcher agreement.


By entering the Contest, contestant releases and holds Sponsor harmless from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind to the contestant or any other person, including personal injury, death, or property damage, resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize, participation in the Contest, any breach of the Contest Rules, or in any prize-related activity. The contestant agrees to fully indemnify Sponsor from any and all claims by third parties relating to the Contest, without limitation.


Contestant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability for any computer, online, software, telephone, hardware, or technical malfunctions that may occur. The Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest. The Sponsor is not responsible for any problems, failures, or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, e-mail, players, or browsers, on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing. The Sponsor is not responsible for any injury or damage to contestant or to any computer related to or resulting from participating or downloading materials in this Contest. Contestant assumes liability for injuries caused or claimed to be caused by participating in the Contest, or by the acceptance, possession, use of, or failure to receive any prize. The Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability in the event that the Contest cannot be conducted as planned for any reason, including those reasons beyond the control of the Sponsor, such as infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or corruption of the administration, security, fairness, integrity, natural disaster, or proper conduct of this Contest.


As a condition of participating in the Contest, each contestant agrees to be bound by these Contest Rules and indicates consent as part of the registration process. Contestant further agrees to be bound by the decisions of the Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any contestant found to be: (a) violating the Contest Rules; (b) tampering or attempting to tamper with the Contest or any of the equipment, the Contest website or Contest programming; (c) acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.


By participating in the Contest, contestant: (i) grants to the Sponsor the right to use his/her name, likeness, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address ("Personal Information") for the purpose of administering the Contest, including but not limited to contacting and announcing the winners; and (ii) acknowledges that the Sponsor may disclose his/her Personal Information to third-party agents and service providers of the Sponsor in connection with any of the activities listed in (i) above.

Sponsor will use the contestant's Personal Information only for identified purposes, and protect the contestant's Personal Information in a manner that is consistent with Sponsor's Privacy Policy at:


All intellectual property, including but not limited to trade-marks, trade names, logos, copyrights, designs, promotional materials, web pages, source code, drawings, illustrations, slogans, and representations are owned by Sponsor and/or its affiliates. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized copying or use of any copyrighted material or intellectual property without the express written consent of its owner is strictly prohibited.


Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate the Contest, in whole or in part, and/or modify, amend, or suspend the Contest, and/or the Contest Rules in any way, at any time, for any reason without prior notice.

12. LAW.

These are the official Contest Rules. The Contest is subject to applicable laws and regulations. The Contest Rules are subject to change without notice in order to comply with any applicable laws or the policy of any other entity having jurisdiction over the Sponsor and/or the Contest. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of the Contest Rules or the rights and obligations as between the contestant and the Sponsor in connection with the Contest shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the province of British Columbia and Canada including procedural provisions without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of any other jurisdiction's laws.


In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the terms and conditions of the Contest Rules and disclosures or other statements contained in any Contest-related materials, the terms and conditions of the Contest Rules shall prevail, govern, and control.

© 2017 Trend Micro Incorporated. All rights reserved. PWN2OWN, ZERO DAY INITIATIVE, ZDI and Trend Micro are trademarks or registered trademarks of Trend Micro Incorporated. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.