Microsoft announces Windows Bounty Program to improve Windows Security

Microsoft announces Windows Bounty Program to improve Windows Security

In addition to the payouts for the first person to discover the bugs, Microsoft is also offering to pay out 10% of the corresponding reward to the first person to report any bugs that are discovered internally but have not been published yet.

"In the spirit of maintaining a high security bar in Windows, we're launching the Windows Bounty Program on July 26, 2017", wrote the Microsoft Security Response Center team announcing the news in a post on the company's TechNet blog.

Under the new terms, those who find a vulnerability in the slow Windows Insider release track will be awarded $30,000.

The company has been running bug bounty programs, wherein security researchers are financially rewarded for discovering and reporting exploitable flaws, since 2013. However, the main focus is on the Hyper-V, and finding a bug in the code, can earn you up to $250,000. Rewards start at a minimum of $500 and can go up to as high as $250,000.

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"If a submission reproduces in a previous WIP Slow build but not the current WIP Slow at the time of your submission, then the submission is ineligible", Microsoft said in an explanatory note.

It's always better to find and fix a hole before it becomes a massive problem, especially when it comes to security issues. Furthermore, it also has specific focus areas: Hyper-V, Mitigation Bypass, Windows Defender Application Guard, and Microsoft Edge. Last month, the Edge bounty program was made an ongoing scheme no longer tied to any particular timeframe.

The bug bounty program "will continue indefinitely at Microsoft's discretion", the company added. Such programs make it easier for tech companies to look for security flaws before they wreak havoc in one way or another. Rewarding security researchers with bounties costs peanuts compared to paying for a serious security snafu.

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