Microsoft’s bounty program for the Internet Explorer 11 Preview has already begun to payout and payoff.
According to Katie Moussouris, senior security strategist at Microsoft Security Research Center, the first researcher to submit a successful vulnerability report for IE 11 has been contacted, and more such emails are on the way.
“We have other researchers who have qualified for bounties under the IE11 program as well, and their notifications will be coming from secure [at] Microsoft [dot] com this week and beyond,” Moussouris blogged. “We plan to add an acknowledgement page on our bounty web site, listing the researchers who would like to be publicly recognized for their contributions to helping us make our products more secure, so look for that page to appear linked from www.microsoft.com/bountyprograms in the near future.”
So far, more than a dozen issues affecting the IE 11 Preview have been submitted to the company to investigate. In June, Microsoft announced a number of programs to reward researchers for coming forward with vulnerability information. In exchange for finding critical bugs in IE 11 on Windows 8.1, Microsoft is offering up to $11,000. The entry period for this program ends July 26.
Microsoft also created the ‘Mitigation Bypass Bounty’, which pays up to $100,000 for exploits against the Windows 8.1 Preview, and the ‘BlueHat Bonus for Defense’, which offers up to $50,000 for defensive ideas that accompany any submission to the bypass program.
“Vulnerabilities and exploits affecting many vendors’ products have been trafficked for years in the white, grey, and black markets,” Moussouris blogged. “For us, the distinction in the markets hinges on the intended use of the vulnerability or exploit that is purchased. There is also a price difference, generally speaking, with significantly higher prices often paid on the black market.”
“Our goal was not to directly compete with the black (or even grey) market,” she added. “Rather, our goal was to attract those researchers who are currently willing to sell in the white market, and get them to come forward directly to us a lot earlier.”
Related Podcast: The Story Behind Microsoft’s Bug Bounty Program
Related News: Microsoft Unveils Three Bug Bounty Programs