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Google Pixel hacked in 60 seconds for $120,000 prize

Google’s Pixel smartphone, which runs the latest version of its Android operating system, succumbed to a team of hackers in less than one minute, netting the winners a $120,000 first prize.

The Mobile Pwn2Own competition in Japan saw the Chinese team Qihoo 360 take the top spot by gaining control of a Pixel device and executing code remotely. In this instance, that meant opening up the Play Store, then opening Chrome and displaying a message. The team managed to do all of that in less than 60 seconds.

It’s bad news for the Pixel particularly, as it’s the second time the handset has been shown to be vulnerabile to remote code execution. Google’s now working on a patch for both these issues, according to The Register. It also follows news earlier this week that Android Nougat actually makes it easier to brute force encryption passwords than previous versions of the platform.

Google wasn’t alone in falling to hackers at the Pwn2Own battle though: Qihoo 360 also took home another $120,000 for breaching Flash in less than four seconds and Pangu Team nabbed $80,000 for breaking through Safari running on MacOS Sierra with a privledge escalation vulnerability. That took just 20 seconds.

White-hat hacker competitions like this highlight the need to always take as much precaution as possible with your personal details, passwords and other sensitive information online, as no matter how much preparation is put in, hackers tend to always find a way to sniff out vulnerabilites and break through any defenses.

Related: Hacker releases code for huge IoT botnet

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Does this put you off buying a Pixel or do you think all phones are equally vulnerable? Let us know in the comments below!

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