Internet Bug Bounty plans rewards for new tools to find vulnerabilities

Rewards for bug-hunting security tools could reduce zero-day software flaws

A program that pays researchers for information on software vulnerabilities, the Internet Bug Bounty (IBB), will now also reward those who develop tools and techniques to spot bugs.

The idea is to expand the range of tools organizations can use to find security flaws in their software before hackers do and sell that valuable information, wrote Katie Moussouris, chief policy officer for HackerOne, one of IBB's sponsors, along with Facebook and Microsoft.

"In the end, the tug of war between attackers and defenders will always exist," Moussouris wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "How we structure incentives toward making offense more expensive for attackers and giving more defenders and advantage is the question."

There's a thriving shady market for security vulnerabilities. Governments, including the U.S., are known to pay large sums for information on security flaws that can be used for intelligence operations.

Independent researchers can make far more money selling vulnerability information to deep-pocketed buyers rather than reporting them to companies. Although many such as Facebook and Google offer rewards for information, the companies can't match state-sponsored organizations or cybercriminal groups.

Moussouris is scheduled to present research conducted with MIT and Harvard University researchers at the RSA security conference in San Francisco next week. It looks at the motivations behind selling software vulnerabilities, particularly those known as zero-days.

Zero-days are considered the most dangerous software problems since attackers are actively using them to compromise systems but there aren't patches available.

Their study sought to find effective methods to reduce the pool of zero-day vulnerabilities for sale. While bug reward programs run by companies have been effective, "the opportunity to sell to both offense and defense markets has increased," Moussouris wrote.

The best chance for organizations trying to defend their software is to have more tools to scan their own software.

"Example tools include but are not limited to fuzzers, debugger plugins, and especially ways to help determine exploitability of bugs more efficiently," she wrote.

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

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchesMicrosoftsecurityHackerOneExploits / vulnerabilitiesFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?