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A look inside the world of government spying and high-paid hacker mercenaries

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Google's $60,000 bounty for Chrome vulnerabilities isn't enough coin for hacker group Vupen, which cracked Chrome at the recent Pwn2Own competition -- instead, as Forbes describes in a profile of the group, Vupen sells its zero-day exploits to government agencies keen on wielding secret advantages in cyberspace.

Data Privacy 2 (Verge Stock)
Data Privacy 2 (Verge Stock)

Google's $60,000 bounty for Chrome vulnerabilities isn't enough coin for hacker group Vupen, which cracked Chrome at the recent Pwn2Own competition — instead, as Forbes describes in a profile of the group, Vupen sells its zero-day exploits to government agencies keen on wielding secret advantages in cyberspace. Clandestine groups reportedly pay $100,000 for the privilege of shopping with the shadow broker, which offers intrusion methods for attacking Android, iOS, and other operating systems and programs. And in what sounds like a plot element from an espionage thriller, Forbes says that Vupen even sells each exploit to multiple government agencies, playing them against one another "as they try to keep up in an espionage arms race."