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Google Increases Bug Bounty Program Rewards

Google on Thursday informed security researchers that they can now earn significantly higher rewards if they submit vulnerability reports through the company’s bug bounty programs.

Google on Thursday informed security researchers that they can now earn significantly higher rewards if they submit vulnerability reports through the company’s bug bounty programs.

According to the tech giant, over 8,500 security bug reports have been received since the launch of its Chrome Vulnerability Rewards Program in 2010, and more than $5 million have been paid out to researchers.

The company has now decided to increase rewards across the board. For example, the maximum baseline reward has been tripled from $5,000 to $15,000 and high quality reports describing serious vulnerabilities can earn white hat hackers up to $30,000.

In the case of Chrome OS. an exploit chain that leads to a complete hack of Chromebook or Chromebox devices with persistence in guest mode is worth up to $150,000.

The payouts offered through the Google Play Security Reward Program have also increased. Experts can now receive up to $20,000 for remote code execution flaws (up from $5,000), and $3,000 for theft of private data or unauthorized access to protected components (up from $1,000). This program covers Android applications made by Google and other major companies, and its goal is to improve the security of the Google Play ecosystem.

While it has become increasingly difficult to find vulnerabilities in Google products — this is likely one of the reasons why the company has increased the bug bounty payouts — researchers still found some interesting security holes in recent months. This includes a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability that could have been exploited to attack Google employees and possibly gain access to sensitive information, and an XSS flaw in Google Search.

Related: Facebook Pays $120,000 in Bounties at BountyCon

Related: Researcher Earns $36,000 for Google App Engine Flaws

Related: Google Bug Bounty Program Now Covers Platform Abuse

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at 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.

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