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GitLab Paid Half a Million Dollars in Bug Bounties in One Year

GitLab has paid more than half a million dollars in rewards to security researchers who contributed to its public bug bounty program over the past year.

The DevOps platform launched its first bug bounty initiative on HackerOne in 2014, but kept the program private.

GitLab has paid more than half a million dollars in rewards to security researchers who contributed to its public bug bounty program over the past year.

The DevOps platform launched its first bug bounty initiative on HackerOne in 2014, but kept the program private.

With a security team ready to manage the bug bounty program and with lessons learned from the private effort, GitLab decided a year ago to make the program public and invite all security researchers to submit reports on newly discovered vulnerabilities impacting its assets.

The public bug bounty program, GitLab now says, has proven highly successful, with no less than 1,378 reports received from 513 security researchers worldwide. Furthermore, 171 researchers reported valid vulnerabilities and were awarded a total of $565,650 in bug bounties.

Launched in December 2018, the public program has helped GitLab evolve not only the manner in which it communicates with the participating security researchers, but also the way in which bounties are awarded, in addition to increasing the rewards for critical and high-severity vulnerabilities.

“The program kept our engineers on their toes, challenged and surprised our security team, and helped us keep GitLab more secure,” GitLab notes.

In October and November, the company held a bug bounty contest to identify contributors with the most reputation points from submissions to the program, the best written report, most innovative report, and the most impactful finding.

The contest has proved highly successful, with a total of 279 reports received from 123 different individuals, including 89 new reporters. GitLab plans to release details on the best written report, most innovative report and most impactful finding 30 days after releasing fixes for these vulnerabilities.

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Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that GitLab launched its public bug bounty program in early 2019 and that it would offer legal safe harbor.

Related: GitHub Increases Bug Bounty Program Rewards, Expands Scope

Related: Security Teams Often Struggle to Get Developers on Board: GitLab Study

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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