Security Experts:

Microsoft Prepared to Pay Up to $15,000 for Spartan, Azure Vulnerabilities

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it’s extending its bug bounty program to include Project Spartan, the codename used for the new web browser included in Windows 10 Technical Preview, and the Azure cloud platform.

Microsoft’s Online Services Bug Bounty Program now covers several Azure services, including Azure Cloud Services, Azure virtual machines, Azure Active Directory, and Azure Storage. The company says it’s prepared to pay between $500 and $15,000 for eligible vulnerabilities, and those who submitted bug reports since the beginning of 2015 could also be rewarded if their submissions are eligible.

“With the addition of Azure to the Microsoft Online Services Bug Bounty Program, customers now have the ability to perform targeted security vulnerability assessments of the Azure platform itself. If issues are identified that meet the eligibility requirements, the finder can be rewarded for their work that helps makes Azure a more secure platform for all,” David B. Cross, engineering director at Azure Security, wrote in a blog post.

The Online Services Bug Bounty Program now also includes the recently launched content creation tool Sway.

As for the Project Spartan bug bounty, securing the platform is a top priority for the browser team, Microsoft said. The company is prepared to pay up to $15,000 for remote code execution, sandbox escape, and design-level vulnerabilities.

Microsoft has noted that the Project Spartan bug bounty will only run until June 22, 2015.

Microsoft also announced on Wednesday the addition of a new type of attack to the Mitigation Bypass Bounty program. Researchers can now report Hyper-V escape flaws (guest-to-host, guest-to-guest, guest-to-host DoS). As part of this program, Microsoft is prepared to offer up to $100,000 to researchers who identify ways to bypass active mitigations in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

“Microsoft has a long history of working closely with security researchers,” said Jason Shirk, security architect at Microsoft. “Having personally done penetration testing and exploit mitigation, I understand that this is intense and difficult work. I can say that we truly value these contributions. Bug bounties are an increasingly important part of the vulnerability research and defense ecosystem and will continue to evolve over time.”

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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.