Microsoft still bucks bug bounty trend

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Redmond says BlueHat is better.

The richest and biggest software company in the world still won’t pay researchers for disclosing vulnerabilities despite a growing number of its peers opting to do so.

Microsoft thinks bug bounties are superfluous: its Microsoft Security Response Centre (MSRC) team were constantly inundated with free vulnerability reports from researchers looking for fame, not fortune.

Up to 80 percent of Microsoft vulnerabilities were privately and freely reported.

Researchers had a variety of motivations behind reporting bugs and money was not necessarily chief among them, Microsoft security boss Mike Reavey said.

“I don’t think that filing and rewarding point issues is a long-term strategy to protect customers," he said.

Microsoft’s new BlueHat competition — which pays handsomely for defensive security solutions — was more effective and more appealing to those who consider security research an “intellectual pursuit”.

Reavey said BlueHat participants had respect because they were builders and breakers.

“Rewarding $200,000 for finding techniques that blocks an entire class of exploits scales better, and better protects customers," he said.

Google, Mozilla, Facebook and Samsung are among an expanding list of companies prepared to shell out for privately-disclosed vulnerabilities.

PayPal is the latest to join that list this week after the company’s chief security officer Michael Barrett changed his tune on paying for vulnerabilities.

“I originally had reservations about the idea of paying researchers for bug reports, but I am happy to admit that the data has shown me to be wrong — it’s clearly an effective way to increase researchers’ attention on internet-based services and therefore find more potential issues,” Barrett said.

He said the experience from companies that pay for bugs was “very positive”.

Researchers could earn a dollar from Microsoft vulnerabilities through HP's Zero Day Initiative, which pays for reported bugs and supplies them to affected vendors for free.

Microsoft’s MSRC receives between 100,000 to 200,000 emails each year that range from critical vulnerability disclosures down to user requests to help deal with malware infections.

Of those, about 1000 were triaged and around 150 were considered vulnerabilities.

Only 16 have been released as more costly out-of-band security releases, and the remainder pushed through Microsoft’s monthly patch Tuesday updates.

Details on PayPal's bug bounty is available online.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia


Microsoft still bucks bug bounty trend
 
 
 
Top Stories
Soft drinks and SoftLayer: A solution for hard times?
Coca-Cola Amatil's CIO Barry Simpson shares his story of cost-cutting, outsourcing and why his software developers to ride around in delivery trucks.
 
Optus considers breaking net neutrality in Australia
May charge Netflix, OTT providers for premium service.
 
AGL restructure sees CIO depart
Owen Coppage to leave after ten years.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Small business win in a budget with 'fair' savings: Abbott
Apr 17, 2015
Tony Abbott has reaffirmed that the government’s aim is “always to get taxes ...
Xero now includes an inventory function built-in
Mar 26, 2015
Xero has added inventory and other major new features to the latest release of its cloud ...
Apple reveals its new MacBook
Mar 13, 2015
Replacing the MacBook Air as Apple's thinnest laptop, the new MacBook comes packed with features.
Xero has released a new version of its app for the iPad
Mar 6, 2015
iPad-wielding Xero users can now take advantage of a new version of the iOS app for the cloud ...
Microsoft is offering Azure for Disaster Recovery to Australian SMBs
Feb 10, 2015
If you haven't talked to your IT provider about disaster recovery, it might be worth discussing ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Do you support the Government's data retention scheme?

   |   View results
Yes
  11%
 
No
  89%
TOTAL VOTES: 2335

Vote