Back in February Google launched a competition called Pwnium. The contest was pretty simple, Hack Chrome and find security exploits- win money. The amount of prize money depended on what the system was cracked. It took just two weeks for one Sergey Glazunov to claim a $60,000 prize.
It's said that Sergey used a Chrome exploit that more or less bypassed the browser's sandboxing security, making it possible for a hacker to do whatever they wanted to on an infected machine.
It's not uncommon anymore for companies to look outside to the every day user to test their products, and security. Most experts can only help protect against the known, where as the hackers tend to blaze new trails in how they go about things.