Microsoft looking to reward Windows 10 hackers up to US$250,000

By @ULB1N on
A Microsoft logo is seen a day after Microsoft Corp's $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn Corp, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 14, 2016.
A Microsoft logo is seen a day after Microsoft Corp's $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn Corp, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 14, 2016. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Microsoft is willing to hand out heaps of money to hackers who can exploit holes in its latest operating system, Windows 10. Bug hunters can earn as much as US$250,000 (AU$313,000) for a single successful effort.

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s best OS yet. It has the basics and user-friendly approach of Windows 7, but lacks the sloppiness of Windows 8. It already boasts of potent defences, but the Redmond company isn’t leaving anything to chance.

Microsoft on Thursday launched the Windows Bounty Programme. The rewards platform encompasses all features of the Windows Insider Preview, as well as focus areas in Windows Defender Application Guard, Hyper-V, Mitigation bypass and the Microsoft Edge web browser. The company has also increased the Hyper-V Bounty Programme’s bounty range to boot.

“Since 2012, we have launched multiple bounties for various Windows features,” the Washington-based tech titan said. “Security is always changing and we prioritise different types of vulnerabilities at different points in time. Microsoft strongly believes in the value of the bug bounties, and we trust that it serves to enhance our security capabilities.”

The rewards programme will be an on-going engagement and will continue for an indefinite period of time until Microsoft confirms its completion. Moreover, any critical or important class remote code execution, elevation of privilege or design defects that puts a Windows user’s security and privacy in jeopardy will be compensated.

A bug hunter will also receive a maximum of 10 percent of the highest possible categorical amount if he or she is the first finder of a qualifying vulnerability that Microsoft already knows about. Below are the target, focus area and payout details. Check out the Microsoft Bounty Programmes page for more information.

  • Category: Focus area | Targets: Microsoft Hyper-V | Windows version: Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server Insider Preview | Payout range: US$5,000 to US$250,000 (AU$6,300 to AU$313,000)
  • Category: Focus area | Targets: Mitigation bypass and bounty for defence | Windows version: Windows 10 | Payout range: US$500 to US$200,000 (AU$630 to AU$251,000)
  • Category: Focus area | Targets: Windows Defender Application Guard | Windows version: WIP slow | Payout range: US$500 to US$30,000 (AU$630 to AU$37,600)
  • Category: Focus area | Targets: Microsoft Edge | Windows version: WIP slow | Payout range: US$500 to US$15,000 (AU$630 to AU$18,800)
  • Category: Base | Targets: Windows Insider Preview | Windows version: WIP slow | Payout range: US$500 to US$15,000 (AU$630 to AU$18,800)

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