About the Pwnies

The Pwnie Awards is an annual awards ceremony celebrating the achievements and failures of security researchers and the security community.

The awards are given out once an year. The annual ceremony will take place during the Blackhat 2021 conference.


The Pwnie Award nominations are judged by a panel of respected security researchers – the closest to a jury of peers a hacker is likely to ever get.

2021 and prior year Judges include:

Brandon EdwardsCharlie MillerChris ValasekDave Aitel
Justine BoneKelly ShortridgeDave GoldsmithTomP
Mark DowdMudgeHalvarKatie Moussouris
Daniel GrussDhiraj MishraBuheratorJoernchen

awards offered

In 2021, there will be 10 award categories:

  1. Pwnie for Best Server-Side Bug
  2. Pwnie for Best Client-Side Bug
  3. Pwnie for Best Privilege Escalation Bug
  4. Pwnie for Best Cryptographic Attack
  5. Pwnie for Most Innovative Research
  6. Pwnie For Lamest Vendor Response
  7. Pwnie for Most Epic Fail
  8. Pwnie for Most Under-hyped Research
  9. Pwnie for Epic Achievement
  10. Pwnie for Best Song (you were dearly missed)


The Pwnie Awards will accept nominations for bugs disclosed from December 1, 2020 to July 17, 2021.

The top five nominees in each category will be announced on the website and the judges will gather at an undisclosed location to vote on the winners. The judges are of course disqualified from winning any Pwnie awards.


The Pwnie Awards thank BlackHat for providing a venue for the awards ceremony, Summercon for continuous support of the award creation, and MedSec for paying the bar tab. Please inquire below for other sponsorship opportunities, but keep in mind that sponsoring the awards will have no influence of the judges, but we will gladly take your money and spend it on things that we shouldn’t.

contact us

To contact the Pwnie Awards organizers, email [email protected]