Trend Micro  — which specializes in cybersecurity solutions, has announced details of the fall edition of its Pwn2Own competition, which this year will be open to virtual participants.

Pwn2Own Tokyo is usually held during the PacSec Conference in the Japanese capital, with the focus on hacking physical devices such as mobile phones, TVs, smart speakers and wireless routers.

However, due to concerns around COVID-19, PacSec will take place virtually on Nov. 1-6. To ensure Pwn2Own Tokyo can still go ahead at the same time, Trend Micro will be hosting live from Trend Micro’s Toronto office (Nov. 3-5), where Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) researchers will be able to run exploit code submitted remotely by participants on the physical devices.

Facebook returns as a partner for this year’s event, again offering their Oculus Quest and Portal from Facebook devices as targets. This year, competitors will also get to probe handsets from Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Google, and Xiaomi, as well as wearables, smart home equipment, TVs, routers, and NAS servers.

The top prize for a single exploit is US$160,000 if a contestant is able to compromise the iPhone, and the payload runs with kernel privileges and survives a reboot. In total, Pwn2Own Tokyo will have 20 devices available as targets and more than $500,000 in prize money.

Participants will also be awarded Master of Pwn points for each successful attempt, with the individual accruing the most points awarded the coveted title of overall winner. They will also receive a trophy and an additional 65,000 ZDI reward points, elevating them to instant Platinum status to unlock a range of additional benefits.

Entrants must register before the Oct. 29 contest deadline and will also need to send a detailed white paper by Nov. 1, explaining their exploit chain, with instructions on how to run it. Those who have travel restrictions or travel-safety concerns can opt to compete remotely.

Trend Micro will be blogging and tweeting results in real-time throughout the competition. Full contest rules and additional Pwn2Own Tokyo Live from Toronto information can be found here: