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Hola! TV geo-block botters open bug bounties

Bot shop's security chop shot

Smarting from a barrage of criticism for botting its customers, VPN service Hola is hoping a bug bounty program will restore its security credentials.

The VPN service was caught turning its 9.7 million users into Luminati exit-nodes. It advertised this service as using customers who downloaded Luminati's TV geo-block smasher program as "Super Proxies" who were used to rout requests.

Hola chief executive officer Ofer Vilenski says as part of wider security upgrades, the company will invite hackers to report vulnerabilities in its service allowing it to sling patches and harden the platform.

"We have changed our site and product installation flows to make it crystal clear that Hola is P2P (peer to peer), and that you are sharing your resources with others," Vilenski says .

"This information is now 'in your face' - and no longer appears only in the FAQ.

"We will soon announce a bug bounty program for anyone that finds additional vulnerabilities in our products."

Vilenski has not yet released specific details.

Managed bug bounties have become popular in recent years with the launch of HackerOne and BugCrowd, with rewards ranging from tee-shirts to tens of thousands of dollars for the most dangerous holes.

Pundits advise bug bounties should include a policy page filed under a /security subdirectory on company websites, and sport a contact number pointing to someone who is charged with managing bug reports and maintaining responsive lines of communication. ®

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