A Chinese security researcher just received Google’s largest bug bounty ever.
Google announced this week it awarded $112,500 to Guang Gong, a researcher who works for Chinese security giant Qihoo 360. It’s the largest amount Google has awarded since increasing its top payouts for bug bounties in June.
In August, Gong submitted a working remote exploit chain, or remote attack, on Google’s Pixel phone, which could be used to steal data or introduce malware onto a device. Google said on its developers blog that it patched the bug in a December update.
Google has been working to ensure that Pixel phones are secure, both on the hardware and software front. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have tamper-resistant hardware, and Google says it would be difficult for hackers to decrypt your data without knowing your password first.
But Gong and his team at Qihoo 360 are pros are hacking the Pixel by now. At Pwn2Own 2016, a prestigious annual hacking contest, the team cracked the first-generation Pixel in 60 seconds. The team won a cash prize of $120,000 for its efforts, eventually netting a total of $520,000 in prize money at the contest for breaching a variety of software services, including Adobe Flash.