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Singapore Government Announces Second Bug Bounty Program

The government of Singapore this week announced plans to launch a second bug bounty program in collaboration with hacker-powered security platform HackerOne.

The new bug bounty program will be overseen by the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech), the agency in charge of driving the digital transformation of the country’s public sector, and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA).

The challenge is expected to run for a period of three weeks between December 2018 and January 2019. White hat hackers from Singapore and other countries have been invited to find vulnerabilities in five public-facing government websites and systems. Participants can earn between $250 and $10,000 for each flaw they discover.

The list of targets includes the website, the REACH site, the Press Pass Accreditation service of the Ministry of Communications & Information, the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and the MFA’s eRegister service.

In the first bug bounty program run by the government of Singapore, organized by the Ministry of Defence, 17 hackers earned nearly $15,000 for 35 unique vulnerabilities – no critical flaws were found and only two were rated “high severity.” The highest reward was $2,000 and the Defence Ministry claimed it responded to vulnerability reports within five hours.

“Singapore is again setting an example for the rest of the world to follow by taking decisive steps towards securing their vital digital assets,” said Marten Mickos, CEO HackerOne. “Only governments that take cybersecurity seriously can reduce their risk of breach and interruption of digital systems. Singapore's continued commitment to collaboration in cybersecurity is something that will help propel the industry’s progress just as much as it will contribute to protecting Singapore citizen and resident data.”

Next year, Singapore will host SecurityWeek’s 2019 Singapore ICS Cyber Security Conference, an event dedicated to serving critical infrastructure and industrial internet stakeholders in the APAC region. The conference will take place on April 16-18.

Related: Singapore Signs Cybersecurity Agreements With US, Canada

Related: Massive Singapore Healthcare Breach Possibly Involved Contractor

Related: HackerOne Bug Bounty Programs Paid Out $11 Million in 2017

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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.