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Oath Pays $400,000 in Bug Bounties in One Day

Internet media company Oath paid more than $400,000 in bounties during the H1-415 one-day HackerOne event in San Francisco, where 41 hackers from 11 countries were present.

Internet media company Oath paid more than $400,000 in bounties during the H1-415 one-day HackerOne event in San Francisco, where 41 hackers from 11 countries were present.

HackerOne’s second annual live-hacking event lasted for nine hours but resulted in breaking multiple records on Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Oath security team was present on the floor to work with the hackers, assess the impact of discovered flaws, patch the vulnerabilities, and pay rewards.

Oath, a media and tech company that owns brands such as Yahoo, AOL, Verizon Digital Media Services, TechCrunch and many more, has also introduced its consolidated private bug bounty program for the first time.

In a blog post on Friday, Oath CISO Chris Nims formally announced the company’s unified bug bounty program, which brings together the programs previously divided across AOL, Yahoo, Tumblr and Verizon Digital Media Service (VDMS).

The programs have already enjoyed the participation of more than 3,000 researchers globally. Over the past four years, Oath paid over $3 million in bounties to the reporting researchers.

“Our new program will combine our existing bug bounty operations into one united program, establishing a foundation to expand our program in the future,” Nims says.

Operated on the HackerOne platform, the AOL, VDMS and Tumblr programs are private, access being available on an invite-only basis. Yahoo properties, however, will be open to the public, Oath says. The H1-415 event was meant to kick-off the new chapter in the company’s bounty program.

“Surfacing vulnerabilities and resolving them before our adversaries can exploit them is essential in helping us build brands people love and trust. Whether they had been participating in our programs for years or were looking at Oath assets for the first time, it was empowering to witness the dedication, persistence and creativity of the hacker community live and in-person,” Nims said.

According to Nims, Oath offers some of the most competitive rewards when compared to other bug bounty programs, with a vulnerability’s impact being a determining factor when deciding on a payout. During assessment, the company looks at what data the flaw could expose, the sensitivity of the data, the role it plays, network location, and the permissions of the server involved.

“It’s our hope that with this unified bug bounty program, we will continue to increase the effectiveness of outside reporting and ultimately the security of Oath and its users,” Nims concluded.

Not only did the H1-415 event allow hackers to find flaws in Oath’s products, but it also allowed around 40 middle and high school students from the Bay Area to learn about cyber-security, HackerOne reveals.

The students met with the hackers and learned about how they started and what opportunities bug bounty programs provided them with.

“Thank you to our hackers that traveled from near and far to help secure such an incredible brand. Thank you to Oath for all their work and dedication to working with the community to build strong relationships and resolve bugs quickly. Finally, thank you to all the students, teachers, volunteers, staff, vendors and others that gave up their Saturdays to be part of something great,” HackerOne concluded.

Related: Kaspersky Lab Offers $100,000 for Critical Vulnerabilities

Related: Firms More Open to Receiving Vulnerability Reports: Ethical Hackers

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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