Google triples bug bounty reward range to $US15,000

The company says it will even break that ceiling for outstanding reports

Google has tripled its maximum reward for finding flaws in its software to $US15,000, a figure the company hopes will deter independent researchers from selling their information on shady markets.

The company had paid a minimum of $US500 up to $US5000. But it is now becoming more difficult to find bugs in software such as Chrome, and Google wants to reward the extra effort, wrote Tim Willis of Chrome Security Team in a blog post.

Bug bounty programs have proven fruitful for large Web companies such as Google and Facebook, who can attract a greater number of eyes to their software without hiring more security analysts.

But independent researchers have a lot of options for selling vulnerabilities through professional brokers such as Vupen and Netragard to cybercriminals looking for new vulnerabilities they can use to spread malware.

"We understand that our cash reward amounts can be less than these alternatives, but we offer you public acknowledgement of your skills and how awesome you are, a quick fix and an opportunity to openly blog/talk/present on your amazing work," Willis wrote. "Also, you'll never have to be concerned that your bugs were used by shady people for unknown purposes.

Willis wrote that Google will pay more than $US15,000 for "particularly great reports," adding that one award topped $US30,000 last month. The company has also laid out in more detail exactly what it will pay depending on what is submitted and what type of flaw has been found.

Those researchers who have also developed a working exploit may earn a higher reward as well. Under a new change, researchers can submit the vulnerability report first and then an exploit later.

"We believe that this a win-win situation for security and researchers: we get to patch bugs earlier and our contributors get to lay claim to the bugs sooner, lowering the chances of submitting a duplicate report," Willis wrote.

Recipients will also be recognized in Google's Hall of Fame, a public record of successful submissions. Willis wrote that Google will back-pay submissions from July 1 at the new levels.

Send news tips and comments to Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchesGooglesecurityExploits / vulnerabilities

More about FacebookGoogle

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jeremy Kirk

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts