Security Experts:

Google Paid Out $6.5 Million Through Bug Bounty Programs in 2019

Google claims it paid out over $6.5 million through its bug bounty programs in 2019, which brings the total awarded by the company since the launch of its first program in 2010 to more than $21 million.

The total amount paid out in 2019 was nearly double compared to the previous year, and Google says the researchers who took part in its bug bounty programs donated an all-time-high of $500,000 to charity.

According to the company, over 460 researchers were paid last year, and the biggest single reward exceeded $200,000.

Of the $6.5 million paid out last year, $2.1 million were awarded through the Google Vulnerability Reward Program (VRP), $1.9 million through the Android VRP, $1 million through the Chrome VRP, and $800,000 through the Google Play Security Reward Program.

Google announced some significant changes to its bug bounty programs last year, including doubling and tripling maximum rewards for Chrome vulnerabilities, offering up to $1.5 million for Android exploits, expanding the scope of the Google Play program to include any app with over 100 million installs, and the launch of a program focusing on data abuse.

The company last year also teamed up with Facebook to run a bug hunting conference in the Asia-Pacific region. BountyCon resulted in payouts totaling $120,000 for over 40 vulnerabilities and the two companies have already announced a date for the second edition.

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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.