Security Experts:

Microsoft Doubles Bug Bounty Payouts For Anti-Exploitation Techniques

Microsoft announced on Wednesday new changes and further expansion of its bug bounty programs.

The company has decided to separate its Mitigation Bypass and Bounty for Defense program. The program, launched in June 2013, was designed to give researchers the opportunity to earn rewards for finding novel mitigation bypass or exploitation defense techniques.

Now that the Mitigation Bypass and Bounty for Defense programs are separate, Microsoft has increased the maximum reward for anti-exploitation techniques from $50,000 to $100,000. The maximum amount of money the company is prepared to pay for novel exploitation techniques against protections built into the latest version of Windows remains $100,000.

By raising the bug bounty for anti-exploitation techniques, Microsoft wants to “bring defense up on par with offense” and “reward the novel defender equally for their research.”

Microsoft also announced that between August 5 and October 5 it will double payouts for authentication vulnerabilities reported as part of the company’s Online Services Bug Bounty, which has now been expanded to include Microsoft Account. During this period, experts can earn up to $30,000 for their submissions.

Bounty hunters have also been informed that Azure RemoteApp, which allows users to run Windows apps hosted in the cloud on various types of devices, has been included in the Online Services Bug Bounty. The covered domains are remoteapp.windowsazure.com and management.remoteapp.windowsazure.com.

The tech giant is also running an onsite contest at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on August 5-6. Researchers can win an Xbox One, a Surface 3, or one year of full MSDN access.

Between April 22 and June 22, Microsoft ran a bug bounty program for its new web browser, Microsoft Edge. At the start of the program, the company also announced the addition of Azure services to the Online Services Bug Bounty.

“It has been great to see the reaction from the research community to the Microsoft Edge Bug Bounty, and the Azure addition to the Online Services Bug Bounty Program. I hope to see equal enthusiasm for these new editions!” Microsoft’s Jason Shirk said in a blog post.

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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.