Feeds

Google Chrome bug bounty ups Mozilla's ante

$3,133.7 for most 'elite' reports

Seven Steps to Software Security

Two days after Mozilla sextupled the bug bounty paid to security researchers to $3,000, Google has upped the ante for vulnerabilities that are reported in its Chrome browser.

In a continuing play on elite hacker speak, Google will begin paying as much as $3,133.70 for the most critical bugs that are brought to its attention, the company announced Tuesday. Google began paying rewards in January with a sum of $1,337 for the most critical vulnerabilities. At the time, Mozilla was paying only $500 for the most serious flaws brought to its attention.

“It has been approximately six months since we launched the Chromium Security Reward program,” Google's announcement stated. “Although still early days [sic], the program has been a clear success. We have been notified of numerous bugs, and some of the participants have made it clear that it was the reward program that motivated them to get involved with Chromium security.”

The bidding war is good news for private security researchers who frequently complain they are uncompensated when they warn software makers of serious bugs that imperil their users. That longstanding arrangement allows the companies to benefit off the work of others and creates a sense that they are entitled to the information, the researchers have said.

To date only a handful of software makers offer security bug bounties. They apply almost exclusively to open-source projects such as Mozilla's Firefox and Daniel J. Bernstein's djbdns. TippingPoint's Zero Day Initiative and VeriSign's iDefense also pay for vulnerabilities with fees topping out at about $10,000. The firms use the details to protect customers who subscribe to their services from the vulnerabilities before they're patched.

So far, Google has paid just one researcher the coveted $1,337 fee, while it has doled out six $1,000 payments and 15 $500 rewards, which are paid for reports of less severe bugs, according to this accounting. The company will continue to pay the lower amount for lower severity bugs, although it will consider offering higher bounties when researchers for “high-quality bug reports,” such as those that include “a careful test case reduction, an accurate analysis of root cause, or productive discussion towards resolution.” ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.