Microsoft kicks off two-month Spartan bug bounty program

Microsoft has launched a short-term bug bounty program for its new Project Spartan browser, saying entries would be accepted until June 22.

Microsoft has launched a short-term bug bounty program for its new Project Spartan browser, saying entries would be accepted until June 22.

The temporary award program is very similar to one Microsoft used in mid-2013 for Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) to bag some bugs before that browser was released with Windows 8.1.

"Securing this platform is a top priority for the browser team," said Jason Shirk, a security architect with the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), in a blog post.

Project Spartan is the code name for Microsoft's next browser, which has debuted in unfinished form as part of Windows 10's technical preview. Spartan will be the default browser in Windows 10, replacing IE11 for all but those enterprise customers who need to run legacy Web apps and internal websites.

Microsoft has not yet slapped an official moniker on Spartan, but is expected to do that next week at its Build developers conference. Spartan and Windows 10 will launch this summer, perhaps as early as late July.

"The program is intended to incent security researchers to report vulnerabilities to Microsoft during the Technical Preview period rather than after general use to minimize customer impact," Microsoft explained elsewhere.

Microsoft will pay up to $US15,000 for a vulnerability report and functioning exploit, a 36 per cent increase over the $US11,000 maximum IE11 bounty. Top awards will be given to what Microsoft dubs "high quality" reports on remote code execution and sandbox escape bugs, with smaller rewards ranging from $US500 to $US6000 for less serious flaws. Microsoft reserved the right to pay more than the top-tier $US15,000 in special cases.

The company will accept bug reports starting today and ending June 22, a two-month stretch that will be twice the length of the IE11 program.

As in 2013, this year's browser bounties are meant to shake bugs from the researcher trees before Spartan is released to the public. According to Microsoft, the IE11 pre-launch program resulted in engineers patching 18 vulnerabilities prior to the browser's official release.

Microsoft has published guidelines for the Project Spartan Bug Bounty program on its website.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Malware & VulnerabilitiesantispamMicrosoftsecurity

More about Microsoft

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Gregg Keizer

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 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

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place