Microsoft Increases Bug Bounty Rewards, Bitcoin Users Rejoice

Operating system manufacturers are constantly coming up with improvements to their software.  Most of the bugs and flaws reported in the world of software stem forth from rewarding security experts to try and find potential weaknesses.  Microsoft is upping their Bug Bounty game to ensure their operating systems are more secure than the competition.

Operating System Security Is ImportantMicrosoft Bug Bounty

With most of the population using some sort of device that is running an operating system, it has become more important than ever before to ensure these lines of codes are keeping intruders out.  Especially with Microsoft’s Windows operating system, as it remains the most widely used operating system in the entire world.

Bug bounties are a great tool to have security experts and white-hat hackers unleash hell on the operating system itself – inside a controlled environment – and see what kind of vulnerabilities they can identify.  More important, this also gives Microsoft developers and engineers an idea on how to fix any and all vulnerabilities discovered.

Now that Windows 10 has been released to the public and is gaining mass adoption at an accelerated rate – overlooked bugs and security flaws could be disastrous.  But it is not only Microsoft’s Windows that is at risk, but also popular software solutions such as Java and Flash, all of which are under constant attack from cyber criminals.

It is key to discover and identify security vulnerabilities at an early stage, as once these flaws become widespread knowledge, all hell will break loose sooner or later. Microsoft has therefore changed their Bug Bounties program during the recent Black Hat Hacker Conference.  What better way to enlist people to find security flaws than by luring in some of the world’s most renowned hackers?

Changing the Microsoft Bug Bounty Program

Most of the changes made to Microsoft’s Bug Bounty program come in the form of increased financial rewards.  For example, the Bounty for Defense has been doubled to US$100,000; up from US$50,000.  Creating defense ideas accompanying a qualifying Mitigation Bypass submission has never been more lucrative than it is today.

Authentication Security flaws are more common than most people would assume, and Microsoft is planning to put more emphasis on this aspect.  Any authentication vulnerability discovered and submitted through the Online Services Bug Bounty program before October 5, will receive double the reward.

Over the years, Microsoft has also expanded into the world of running Windows apps hosted on their Azure cloud service.  RemoteApp is the name of this platform, which lets users run these Windows apps on a variety of devices.  Now that RemoteApp has been added to the company’s Online Services Bug Bounty, any flaws discovered on this platform are eligible for financial compensation.

Bitcoin Users Can Rejoice At The News

Whenever an individual Bitcoin’s user wallet gets compromised, it is usually due to a security vulnerability.  Not all of these vulnerabilities occur through the operating system itself, though.  That being said, increasing the Bug Bounty rewards to identify and fix security holes in Windows is beneficial to Bitcoin users around the world.

It would be quite a shame if someone lost the Bitcoins stored in their wallet due to a vulnerability identified in Microsoft’s operating system.  Even though most Bitcoin users never run their wallet on a regular computer, but rather in a sandboxed environment, there is still plenty of room for vulnerabilities to be exploited for financial gain in the form of Bitcoin.

Source: ZDNet

Images courtesy of Microsoft, Shutterstock