After Facebook paid $15000 as bounty, Google is doing something different: it decided to double the Google bug bounty from $50000 to $100000. The Google bug bounty program is meant to encourage hackers to find weaknesses in Google’s Chromebook. It is a clever way of telling the world that Chromebook is one of the most secured devices in the world. And in the wake of Apple’s encryption impasse with the US government, people are bound to take notice.
This latest announcement from the Google bug bounty program is almost like throwing the gauntlet to hackers to up their game. Last month, the Google bug bounty program expanded its scope by introducing what it called a ‘Vulnerability Research Grant.‘ This grant is meant to fund individuals or groups in advance as they try to find security weaknesses in its services. Almost like funding a thief to steal from you.
The improved Google bug bounty program targets two main areas: Chromebook, as mentioned earlier and Chrome browser. More specifically, finding vulnerabilities in the revamped Safe Browsing feature in Chrome.
The new feature in Safe Browsing was introduced to detect and eliminate fake download buttons from appearing on websites. These fake links sometimes appear like legitimate links only for users to find out later that they are a redirect buttons to other sites, or worst. links to download malwares. Obviously, adding Safe Browsing to the expanded Google bug bounty is to encourage security experts to have a go at breaching Safe Browsing. And the bottmline line is, Google is trying to make sure Chrome is the most secured browser in the world against malwares and phising attacks.
Chromebook’s security is top notch. But Google wants to make sure all its bases are covered. So far nobody has reported a security breach for Chromebook. Perhaps Google thought $50 000 wasn’t enough to attract the best hackers. So jacking up the Google bug bounty for Chromebook was a means to regenerate interest from security experts. And possibly attract more and better hackers.
On the new Google bug bounty incentive, Nathan Parker of Chrome and Tim Willis, a Hacker Philanthropist, had this to say in a blog post:
“It’s no secret that Chrome takes security seriously. Today, we’re introducing two new changes to expand the Chrome Reward Program even further:
- Increasing our top reward from $50,000 to $100,000. Last year we introduced a $50,000 reward for the persistent compromise of a Chromebook in guest mode. Since we introduced the $50,000 reward, we haven’t had a successful submission. That said, great research deserves great awards, so we’re putting up a standing six-figure sum, available all year round with no quotas and no maximum reward pool.
- Adding a Download Protection Bypass bounty. We’re extending our reward program scope to include rewards for methods that bypass Chrome’s Safe Browsing download protection features. There’s much more detail on this new category on our rewards page – be sure to take a look if you’re interested.
The ball is now truly in the fingers of hackers all over the world.
photo credits: rcave.com; secureworldexpo.com