Browse Definitions :
Definition

bug bounty program

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A bug bounty program, also called a vulnerability rewards program (VRP), is a crowdsourcing initiative that rewards individuals for discovering and reporting software bugs. Bug bounty programs are often initiated to supplement internal code audits and penetration tests as part of an organization's vulnerability management strategy.

Many software vendors and websites run bug bounty programs, paying out cash rewards to software security researchers and white hat hackers who report software vulnerabilities that have the potential to be exploited. Bug reports must document enough information for for the organization offering the bounty to be able to reproduce the vulnerability. Typically, payment amounts are commensurate with the size of the organization, the difficulty in hacking the system and how much impact on users a bug might have.

Mozilla paid out a $3,000 flat rate bounty for bugs that fit its criteria, while Facebook has given out as much as $20,000 for a single bug report. Google paid Chrome operating system bug reporters a combined $700,000 in 2012 and Microsoft paid UK researcher James Forshaw $100,000 for an attack vulnerability in Windows 8.1.  In 2016, Apple announced rewards that max out at $200,000 for a flaw in the iOS secure boot firmware components and up to $50,000 for execution of arbitrary code with kernel privileges or unauthorized iCloud access.

While the use of ethical hackers to find bugs can be very effective, such programs can also be controversial. To limit potential risk, some organizations are offering closed bug bounty programs that require an invitation. Apple, for example, has limited bug bounty participation to few dozen researchers.

This was last updated in July 2017

Continue Reading About bug bounty program

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • payload (computing)

    In computing, a payload is the carrying capacity of a packet or other transmission data unit. The term has its roots in the ...

  • passphrase

    A passphrase is a string of characters longer than the usual password (which is typically from four to 16 characters long) that ...

  • Web application firewall (WAF)

    A Web application firewall (WAF) is a firewall that monitors, filters or blocks traffic to and from a Web application. WAFs are ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • computational storage

    Computational storage is defined as an architecture that couples compute with storage in order to reduce data movement. In doing ...

  • data deduplication

    Data deduplication -- often called intelligent compression or single-instance storage -- is a process that eliminates redundant ...

  • public cloud storage

    Public cloud storage, also called storage-as-a-service or online storage is a service model that provides data storage on a ...

Close