Security Experts:

Netgear Launches Bug Bounty Program

Networking equipment provider Netgear announced on Thursday the launch of a bug bounty program focusing on the company’s products, particularly routers, security cameras and mesh Wi-Fi systems.

With the aid of Bugcrowd, Netgear will run two types of responsible disclosure programs: a program offering Bugcrowd kudos points, and one offering cash rewards. Monetary rewards can be earned for vulnerabilities in Arlo Wire-Free, Q and Pro security cameras, Nighthawk X4S and X8 routers, and Orbi mesh Wi-Fi systems. For weaknesses in other products, experts will receive points.

In the case of Arlo products, the bug bounty program covers firmware, web management interfaces, client apps and cloud infrastructure. In the case of Nighthawk and Orbi products, the vendor is looking for flaws in firmware and web management interfaces.

The vendor has pointed out that marketing and support websites (e.g. netgear.com) are not in scope. However, vulnerabilities found in domains used directly by products (e.g. apistaging.netgear.com) are eligible for a reward.

Netgear is prepared to pay out up to $15,000 for each vulnerability, the most valuable flaws being ones that allow access to the cloud storage video files or live video feeds of all customers. Bounty hunters can also earn the maximum reward if they find security holes that allow remote access to routers from the Internet.

Video feed and cloud storage access vulnerabilities that cannot be exploited in mass attacks are worth $10,000. The same amount can be earned for security holes that provide access to the payment card information of all Netgear customers.

The list of vulnerabilities covered by the bug bounty program also includes SQL injection, information disclosure, stored cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and open redirect issues. An exploit that chains at least three flaws will result in the total reward being tripled.

“As the innovative leader in connecting the world to the internet, Netgear must earn and maintain the trust of their users by protecting the privacy and security of their data. Being proactive when it comes to security is fundamental to Netgear’s approach,” said Netgear vice president of information technology Tejas Shah. “By adding a managed bug bounty program through Bugcrowd, we are adding one more layer to our security program.”

Netgear’s decision to launch a bug bounty program comes after researchers reported finding numerous vulnerabilities in the company’s products. White hat hackers have often complained that the vendor ignored their vulnerability reports, including in two recent cases where flaw details and even proof-of-concept (PoC) code were made public before patches had been developed.

Related: Netgear Routers Plagued by Serious Vulnerabilities

Related: Serious Flaws Found in Netgear, NUUO Network Video Recorders

Related: Unpatched Flaw Exposes Netgear Routers to Hacking

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Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.