New reward program will pay computer users top dollar to spot flaws

Google is looking for new exposure – hackers and security experts, today is your day. The internet giant is on a mission to reward "web application security research".  

After a successful launch in January of Google's open-source Chromium vulnerability reward program, the company has extended the program to all Google web applications. Google's security team announced on its blog Monday that the company will pay users who find security flaws on Google.  

"We are announcing an experimental new vulnerability reward program that applies to Google Web properties," said the security team. "As well as enabling us to thank regular contributors in a new way, we hope our new program will attract new researchers and the types of reports that help make our users safer."

The search extends to Google, YouTube, Blogger and Google's social network, Orkut but doesn't include Google client applications Android, Picasa and Sketchup.

Payments for finding a vulnerability would start at $500 and go up to as much as $3,133.70 -- depending on the extent of the vulnerability.  

The Google security team describes a vulnerability as, "any serious bug which directly affects the confidentiality or integrity of user data". Monetary rewards are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

According to the company's blog post, if the recipient isn't interested in money, Google will offer the option of donating the reward to charity.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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