Encrypted messaging startup Wickr offers $100K bug bounty

The company hopes to tap the security research community to find potential problems

Two-year-old startup Wickr is offering a reward of up to US$100,000 to anyone who can find a serious vulnerability in its mobile encrypted messaging application, which is designed to thwart spying by hackers and governments.

The reward puts the small company in the same league as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, all of which offer substantial payouts to security researchers for finding dangerous bugs that could compromise their users' data.

Wickr has already closely vetted its application so the challenge could be tough. Veracode, an application security testing company, and Stroz Friedberg, a computer forensics firm, have reviewed the software, in addition to independent security researchers.

In a statement, Wickr said "we expect finding critical vulnerabilities in Wickr to be difficult and are honored to work with those that do."

Companies benefit from these bug bounty programs because they create an incentive for a large number of engineers with various types and levels of expertise to test their applications. It can be a better investment than hiring full-time staff, according to one study.

Wickr said vulnerabilities that substantially affect the confidentiality or integrity of user data could qualify for the maximum reward. Less severe bugs could garner a researcher $10,000 or more. Researchers are required not to publicize their discoveries for three months without written permission, giving Wickr time to review and fix potential issues. Bug information should be sent to bugbounty@mywickr.com.

Messages sent through Wickr are encrypted on the mobile device. Although the scrambled data passes through Wickr's servers, Wickr does not have a key to decrypt the content. A message can be tagged with an expiry date that causes it to be erased on the recipient's phone after a specific time.

Wickr, based in San Francisco, promotes its application, which runs on iOS and Android, as a safe way to send messages, photos, files and video. Since it does not retain data on its servers, the company maintains it would be unable to turn over users' data to law enforcement.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityencryptionExploits / vulnerabilitiesWickr

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

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?