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Google Celebrates Anniversary of Web Bug Bounty Program

Google has passed the one-year mark for its Web bug bounty program, including the announcement that they have paid out more than $400,000 in rewards to researchers.

Last week, Google took a nostalgic look back at the state of its bug bounty program, which was launched in November 2010. Since that time they’ve experienced some ups and downs, but the search giant remains positive about the state of things and looks forward to future growth.

Google has passed the one-year mark for its Web bug bounty program, including the announcement that they have paid out more than $400,000 in rewards to researchers.

Last week, Google took a nostalgic look back at the state of its bug bounty program, which was launched in November 2010. Since that time they’ve experienced some ups and downs, but the search giant remains positive about the state of things and looks forward to future growth.

Since the program’s launch, Google has had more than 1,100 legitimate bugs, ranging from low to high on the severity scale, from more than 200 researchers. Of those, 730 qualified for a reward. In all, Google said they dished out $410,000 in payouts, with an additional $19,000 going to charities. (When a researcher earns a reward, they can opt to donate it instead of collecting personally.)

“Roughly half of the bugs that received a reward were discovered in software written by approximately 50 companies that Google acquired; the rest were distributed across applications developed by Google (several hundred new ones each year). Significantly, the vast majority of our initial bug reporters had never filed bugs with us before we started offering monetary rewards,” commented Adam Mein, the Technical Program Manager for Google’s Security Team.

In Google’s mind, programs such as theirs, which was based on the one started by Mozilla, and followed by similar ones from Barracuda Labs and Facebook, help companies build stronger relationships with the security community, which used to find itself shunned by vendors and organizations who didn’t appreciate their efforts.

“And with that, we turn toward the year ahead. We’re looking forward to new reports and ongoing relationships with the researchers who are helping make Google products more secure,” Mein said.

Additionally, on Thursday, Google said it was expanding the scope of its bug bounty program for Chromium to go beyond the Chrome Web Browser and formally include more items that it says deserves recognition, including issues such as high-severity Chromium OS security bugs and cross-origin or memory corruption issues in default-installed apps, extensions or plug-ins.

Related Reading: Secunia Launches Reward Program for Vulnerability Coordination

Related Resource: Vulnerability Management Buyer’s Checklist: Key Questions to Ask

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