HP TippingPoint, the long-time organizer of the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest, has revamped the challenge for the second year running and will offer cash awards exceeding half a million dollars, more than five times the amount paid out last year, the company said yesterday.

The 2013 edition of the contest will offer $560,000 in potential prize money to hackers who demonstrate exploits of previously-unknown vulnerabilities in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE) or Safari, or the Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash or Oracle Java browser plug-ins.

Prizes will be awarded on a sliding schedule, with $100,000 for the first to hack Chrome on Windows 7 or IE10 on Windows 8. From there, payments will fall to $75,000 for IE9 and slide through a number of targets before ending at $20,000 for Java. Prizes will also be given for exploiting Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader ($70,000 each), Safari ($65,000) and Firefox ($60,000).

About the Java award, Kostya Kortchinsky, a researcher who now works for Microsoft, quickly tweeted, “ZDI giving out $20k for free,” referring to the Oracle software’s recent vulnerabilities.

Pwn2Own will run March 6-8 at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.