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$5,000 still available for ace cracker

Two days into the competition, and no-one has yet cracked into VIA's StrongBox and claimed the $5,000 prize on offer in Malaysia

A £5,000 prize was still up for grabs on Thursday afternoon, after no-one managed to crack into VIA Technologies' new StrongBox system. But all could change by the weekend.

VIA has offered the prize to anyone who can successfully break into a system using VIA StrongBox software and PadLock hardware which is meant to protect against identity theft and the physical loss of data.

VIA StrongBox was launched this week at the 'Hack in the Box' security conference in Kuala Lumpur, where it is being attacked by hackers and security professionals. StrongBox is designed to offer the same level of security for laptops as the company's PadLock hardware which it claims is "unbreakable".

"Applications like VIA StrongBox combined with the VIA C7-M processor are enabling a new breed of ultrasecure functionality that is of paramount importance for mobile device users," claimed Richard Brown, vice-president of marketing at VIA, in a statement.

VIA StrongBox runs on VIA C7 and VIA C7-M chips, and other processors, and is based on a core that enables up to 10 virtual drives to be created on a system hard drive, the company says. Users assign each virtual StrongBox drive a physical size limit, a drive letter, a unique password and password hint.

While in theory it should be crackable, it uses a number of security features, including 256-bit "military-grade" encryption to remain secure.