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 Monday, 01 February 2010

This is a pretty interesting development from Google and also seems to be coming much more common now, companies openly offering payments for bugs/vulnerabilities discovered in their software. They already used that strategy to find bugs last year with their Native Client Security hacking contest. This time they offer $500 for most vulnerabilities, $1,337 for 'particularly clever' flaws. You can see the blog post on the Chromium blog here.

It’s a chance for the white-hat guys to earn a few bucks, but honestly I don’t think it’s going to change anything. Especially not when we’re talking $500 per vulnerability because a serious browser 0-day exploit that can allow execution of malware will go for 100 times that much on the black market. Even for the particularly severe or clever bugs worth $1,337, that’s still peanuts compared to what they can sell the exploit for on the black market.

I hope it helps though and gives some legitimate security researches a little more incentive to focus on Chrome, the bad guys won’t pay much attention though as Chrome is still a relatively small player in the browser world.

From the article at Network World

“We are hoping that … this program will encourage new individuals to participate in Chromium security,” said Evans. “The more people involved in scrutinizing Chromium’s code and behavior, the more secure our millions of users will be.”

“Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox…those browsers have been out there for a long time,” said Pedram Amini, manager of the security research team at 3com’s Austin, Tex.-based TippingPoint, which operates Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), one of the two best-known bug-bounty programs. “But Chrome, and now Chrome OS, need researchers. Google needs people to put eyes on the target.”

Google’s new bounty program isn’t the first from a software vendor looking for help rooting out vulnerabilities in its own code, but it’s the largest company to step forward, Amini said. Microsoft , for example, has traditionally dismissed any calls that it pay for vulnerabilities. “This will be beneficial to Google,” Amini added. “There are actually very few vendors who play in the bounty market, but Google doing it is definitely interesting.”

I don’t realistically expect any groundbreaking bugs to come out of this initiative, but I think a few people might bust out their browser fuzzing tools and see what they can find.

Worth a bit of effort if you can find 10 decent bugs in a couple of hours and net yourself $5000usd.

You can see the on the chromium project severity guidelines page the different severity ranking for bugs.

 

Other posts:

Google Translator Hacked

Some tips to enhance your SQL Server security

What is LDAP injection?

Some tips to enhance your SQL Server security

How to generate random numbers within a T-SQL query

Monday, 01 February 2010 10:22:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
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Stanislas Biron
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