Google pays cash to hackers for Web app security flaws

Google is trying to boost security through a program that pays hackers for discovering exploits in its popular Web services

Wanted by Google: Bounty-hunting hackers who can find security vulnerabilities in popular Web apps.

For security researchers who find flaws in Internet services like Gmail, Blogger and YouTube, Google will reward $500 or more per bug. Vulnerabilities that are "severe or unusually clever" pay up to $3,133.70. Optionally, benevolent hackers can also donate their rewards to charity, in which case Google will match the winnings at its discretion.

Bug-hunting researchers will also be credited on Google's security page.

To keep Web services running smoothly, Google is excluding bugs caused by denial of service attacks and search optimization tricks. Technologies recently acquired by Google are also off-limits.

This isn't the first time Google has opened up security research to the masses with cash rewards. In January, the company announced a bounty program for Chromium, the open-source project behind Google's Chrome Web browser, following the lead of Mozilla's Firefox bounty program.

The move to Web apps, however, is an important and logical step for Google. The company is putting a lot of faith in Web apps as the future of computing, as evidenced by the upcoming Chrome OS. If users are going to store more and more sensitive information into online services, those services need to be secure.

In the future, Google may expand the program to client applications such as Android, Picasa and Google desktop. Let's hope that happens soon; analysis firm Coverity recently found 88 high-risk defects in the Android kernel.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hackersGooglenetwork securityfirewallsGmailyoutubeonline security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?