What does Pwn2Own mean?

Competition for hackers, ‘Pwn2Own’

Pwn2Own is a competition that happens regularly, where hackers try to take control over various software and devices. The first one to do it gets a prize, usually money, the device they hacked, and a special jacket to remember the event.

The whole idea started back in 2007 at a security conference called CanSecWest. A person named Alex Johnson connected two MacBook Pros to the conference’s Wi-Fi network and asked hackers to hack into them. The first one to take control of these laptops, as per Alex, would get to keep them. Hence, the term – pwning the laptops let a hacker own them.

This event was a hit and it turned out to be quite helpful for device and software makers. So, it started happening every year and then twice a year, backed by Zero Day Initiative and other tech companies. Now, Pwn2Own is not just one competition but several of them happening simultaneously, each one targeting different software and devices.

Example for using ‘Pwn2Own’ in a conversation

Hey, have you heard about Pwn2Own?

Yeah, it’s that hacking competition, right?

Exactly! Hackers try to take control of software and devices.

Oh, so the first hacker to do it wins a prize?

Yep! They get cash, the device they hacked, and a cool jacket.