Uber announced on Tuesday the launch of a bug bounty program whose goal is to encourage security researchers to responsibly disclose vulnerabilities found in the ride-sharing company’s websites and applications.
After hiring car hacking experts Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek last year, Uber has now joined the ranks of companies running public bug bounty programs. Uber has been running a beta bug bounty program over the past year, and more than 200 researchers reported nearly 100 vulnerabilities that have been patched by the company.
Hackers have been invited to analyze domains such as *.uber.com, *.dev.uber.com, petition.uber.org, and ubermovement.com, along with the company’s Rider and Partner applications for iOS and Android devices. The bug bounty program also covers what Uber calls “microsites,” websites made by Uber employees and owned by the company, including city sites, blogs and partner incentive sites.
Researchers can look for cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), server-side request forgery (SSRF), SQL injection, server-side remote code execution, XML external entity (XXE), open redirect, path disclosure, access control, directory traversal, local file disclosure, and information disclosure vulnerabilities.
Learning from last year’s incident in which a researcher got into an argument with Facebook over an Instagram hack, Uber pointed out that while hackers are allowed to chain flaws, privilege escalation, internal network port scanning, and pivoting to other systems are forbidden.
Uber says it’s prepared to pay up to $10,000 for critical issues, such as remote code execution flaws on a production server and vulnerabilities that can be exploited to gain access to personal or financial information. Hackers who report stored XSS flaws and missing authorization checks that lead to the exposure of sensitive data will be rewarded with $5,000.
For medium severity issues, such as CSRF, reflected XSS, and access control bugs that don’t result in information exposure, the ride-sharing company is prepared to pay $3,000. Problems related to fraud can be reported to ext-uber-fraud-group(at)uber.com, but no rewards are offered at this time.
Researchers are allowed to publicly disclose their findings after the vulnerability they found is resolved.
There are two interesting aspects about Uber’s public bug bounty program, which is hosted on the HackerOne platform. The company has created what it calls a first-of-its-kind loyalty reward program to encourage participation. Researchers who report 4-5 issues over a 90-day period starting with May 1 will qualify for a bonus.
Uber has also created a “treasure map” to show researchers what each of the targeted applications run on, what they do, and what types of flaws might plague them. For example, the vault.uber.com domain, where partners enter their information for screening and payment purposes, runs on Flask, Jinja2, React and Flux. On this domain, researchers can earn high rewards if they find web or access control vulnerabilities.
Last year, Uber disclosed two security incidents: one where an unauthorized party gained access to the driver’s license numbers of roughly 50,000 drivers, and a software bug that exposed the personal details of hundreds of U.S. drivers.