Former Chairman Seeks to Buy Qualcomm After Broadcom Bid Is Nixed

Today’s topics include a former Qualcomm chairman seeking financing to buy the company and the exposure of multiple zero-day bugs in Apple Safari at Pwn2Own 2018.

Paul Jacobs, the former executive chairman of Qualcomm’s board of directors whose father was a co-founder, is putting together a proposal to buy the company. This comes days after President Trump blocked Broadcom’s hostile acquisition effort over national security concerns.

During the Broadcom takeover maneuvers, Qualcomm announced that Jacobs would no longer be executive board chairman but would retain a seat on the board. Jacobs has now told company directors of his intent to buy Qualcomm, but executives are not taking his bid seriously. Jacobs has met with several investment firms but has yet to secure financing.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm is trying to get NXP shareholders to accept its buyout bid of that company, initially offering $38 billion before increasing that price last month to $44 billion.

Last week, at the two-day Pwn2Own 2018 hacking competition, Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative awarded security researchers a total of $267,000 in prize money for new zero-day exploits—far less than the $2 million available.

On the first day, ZDI awarded $162,000 for vulnerabilities in Microsoft Edge, Oracle VirtualBox and Apple Safari. On the second day, security researchers were awarded $105,000, with Apple Safari once again a target, as was as Mozilla’s Firefox web browser.

After the event, ZDI Communications Manager Dustin Childs said, "We learned … the importance of giving researchers as much time to build their exploits as possible. Some contestants ... simply didn’t have enough time to complete their chains due to the increased complexity of the targets."