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Yahoo! Finds! Cash! Behind! Sofa! For! Proper! Bug! Bounties!

Sorry 'bout that $12.50 prize, does $15k sound better?

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Yahoo! has quickly changed its bug bounty program after being ridiculed for handing just $US12.50 to researchers who found a nasty bug.

The purple palace has now done the decent thing – pop out a blog post offering decent amounts of cash for those who help it not to crash.

The author of the post is one Ramses Martinez, the director of something called “Yahoo Paranoids”, a name we'll assume is an ever-so-ironically-cool Yahoo! way of saying “security department”.

Martinez details his embarrassment at the $12.50 reward and its deliver as branded tat, because Yahoo! “recently decided to improve the process of vulnerability reporting.” Just how recently isn't revealed, but it is implied Yahoo! knew its bug bounty scheme was off the pace before the incident linked to above.

One “inbox … full of angry email from people inside and out of Yahoo” later Martinez says Yahoo! feels ready to share its plans with the world.

The details are listed on the post but amount to a promise to make bug reporting easier, implement a faster assessment and response process, fix things faster and send proper respect to researchers who find bugs.

There's more money to splash, too. Martinez explains just how much as follows:

“Yahoo will now reward individuals and firms that identify what we classify as new, unique and/or high risk issues between $150 - $15,000. The amount will be determined by a clear system based on a set of defined elements that capture the severity of the issue.”

The new policy is promised to be with us by the end of October, but will be backdated to July 1st. Folks who found nasty bugs after the latter date will be paid under the new scheme. ®

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