Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Google offers cash to hackers for finding security flaws

Google will pay up to $3,133.70 for reports of bugs in its websites

Article comments

Following up on a successful bug bounty program that pays hackers for finding security flaws in its Chrome browser, Google now says that it will pay cash for security bugs reported on its websites.

Google calls the program "experimental," but says it gives security researchers new incentives to report Web flaws directly to Google's security team. "As well as enabling us to thank regular contributors in a new way, we hope our new program will attract new researchers and the types of reports that help make our users safer," Google said Monday in a blog posting announcing the program.

The idea is to give Google a chance to fix the vulnerabilities before the bad guys get their hands on them. So, in order to qualify, security researchers must privately disclose new flaws to Google first before they go public with their research. In return, the hackers qualify for cash rewards of between US$500 and $3,133.70, depending on the severity of the flaw.

Google has already paid out about 50 such rewards for Chrome bugs since launching a similar program last January. Google doesn't pay out for bugs in all of its products, however. There are no bounties for finding flaws in Android, Picasa or Google Desktop, for example.

With the Web program, Google is breaking new ground.

Web-based hacking involves experimenting with Google's own servers, rather than software that is downloaded to the researcher's computer. So people who do this work run the risk of breaking the law or possibly even disrupting Google's services while conducting their research.

To prevent those kinds of things from happening, Google offers a few guidelines about what's OK and what's not under the program. The company won't pay for denial of service bugs, which would simply crash Google's Web properties or for bugs in the company's corporate infrastructure.

Also out are search engine optimisation tricks, bugs in Google-branded sites that are actually hosted by someone else and flaws in sites that were only recently purchased by Google.

And Google says that participants shouldn't use automated tools to search for flaws. "Please, only ever target your own account or a test account," Google said in its blog post. "Never attempt to access anyone else's data. Do not engage in any activity that bombards Google services with large numbers of requests or large volumes of data."




Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *