Security rewards at Google: Two MEEELLION Dollars Later

Monday, August 12, 2013

[Cross-posted from the Google Online Security Blog]

One of Google’s core security principles is to engage the community, to better protect our users and build relationships with security researchers. We had this principle in mind as we launched our Chromium and Google Web Vulnerability Reward Programs. We didn’t know what to expect, but in the three years since launch, we’ve rewarded (and fixed!) more than 2,000 security bug reports and also received recognition for setting leading standards for response time.

The collective creativity of the wider security community has surpassed all expectations, and their expertise has helped make Chrome even safer for hundreds of millions of users around the world. Today we’re delighted to announce we’ve now paid out in excess of $2,000,000 (USD) across Google’s security reward initiatives. Broken down, this total includes more than $1,000,000 (USD) for the Chromium VRP / Pwnium rewards, and in excess of $1,000,000 (USD) for the Google Web VRP rewards.

Today, the Chromium program is raising reward levels significantly. In a nutshell, bugs previously rewarded at the $1,000 level will now be considered for reward at up to $5,000. In many cases, this will be a 5x increase in reward level! We’ll issue higher rewards for bugs we believe present a more significant threat to user safety, and when the researcher provides an accurate analysis of exploitability and severity. We will continue to pay previously announced bonuses on top, such as those for providing a patch or finding an issue in a critical piece of open source software.

Interested Chromium researchers should familiarize themselves with our documentation on how to report a security bug well and how we determine higher reward eligibility.

These Chromium reward level increases follow on from similar increases under the Google Web program. With all these new levels, we’re excited to march towards the new milestones and a more secure web.

Posted by Chris Evans and and Adam Mein, Master of Coin

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