Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cloud Security

Google Boosts Bug Bounty Rewards for Linux Kernel Vulnerabilities

Google is once again boosting the maximum bounty payouts for Linux vulnerabilities reported as part of its open-source Kubernetes-based capture-the-flag (CTF) vulnerability rewards program (VRP).

Google is once again boosting the maximum bounty payouts for Linux vulnerabilities reported as part of its open-source Kubernetes-based capture-the-flag (CTF) vulnerability rewards program (VRP).

Called kCTF, the program was launched in 2020 to provide security researchers with the means to report vulnerabilities in the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), for which they receive a flag.

“All of GKE and its dependencies are in scope, but every flag caught so far has been a container breakout through a Linux kernel vulnerability. We’ve learned that finding and exploiting heap memory corruption vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel could be made a lot harder,” Google notes.

To that end, the internet giant has introduced a new set of mitigations expected to make most of the previously reported vulnerabilities and exploits more difficult to use in attacks.

Google introduced these mitigations to fight against out-of-bounds writes on slab, cross-cache attacks, elastic objects, and freelist corruption.

In an effort to incentivize security researchers to discover ways to break those mitigations, Google is also announcing bonus rewards for vulnerabilities in the latest Linux kernel and for bypassing the newly introduced mitigations.

Each of these two bonuses is of $21,000 and together they enable security researchers to earn as much as $133,337 for critical vulnerabilities reported as part of kCTF.

The new bonus rewards come half a year after Google almost doubled the base bounty payouts in kCTF and announced high bonuses for specific vulnerabilities. With three $20,000 bonus rewards on top of the $31,337 base reward, researchers could earn $91,337 for exploits meeting certain criteria.

Now, the company says it is indefinitely extending the increased reward amounts that it announced last year, to which it also adds the new $21,000 bonuses.

“We hope this will allow us to learn more about how hard (or easy) it is to bypass our experimental mitigations,” Google notes.

Related: Google Offering $91,000 Rewards for Linux Kernel, GKE Zero-Days

Related: Google Triples Bounty for Linux Kernel Exploitation

Related: Google Paid Out $8.7 Million in Bug Bounty Rewards in 2021

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

Cloud Security

VMware vRealize Log Insight vulnerability allows an unauthenticated attacker to take full control of a target system.

IoT Security

Lexmark warns of a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability impacting over 120 printer models, for which PoC code has been published.

Mobile & Wireless

Apple rolled out iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 to cover serious security vulnerabilities.

Email Security

Microsoft is urging customers to install the latest Exchange Server updates and harden their environments to prevent malicious attacks.

Mobile & Wireless

Technical details published for an Arm Mali GPU flaw leading to arbitrary kernel code execution and root on Pixel 6.

Vulnerabilities

Security researchers have observed an uptick in attacks targeting CVE-2021-35394, an RCE vulnerability in Realtek Jungle SDK.

Vulnerabilities

Google has awarded more than $25,000 to the researchers who reported the vulnerabilities patched with the release of the latest Chrome update.