Microsoft Awards First $100,000 Bug Bounty to Security Researcher
October 9, 2013 10:29 AM
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The same security researcher has earned the vast majority of all Microsoft payouts for bugs
Microsoft has announced that it awarded its first $100,000 bounty to a security researcher named James Forshaw. Forshaw is a security vulnerability researcher with Context Information Security and had previously found design level bugs during the IE11 Preview Bug Bounty.
Microsoft declined to go into any details about the new mitigation bypass technique Forshaw uncovered until it has addressed the attack. Microsoft says that it will be able to better protect customers by creating new defenses for future versions of its products.
Microsoft did note that one of its engineers named Thomas Garnier had also discovered a variant of this attack technique.
Despite this revelation, Microsoft says that it decided to get the full $100,000 to Forshaw. Microsoft says that it pays so much more for new attack techniques versus discovery of individual bugs because new mitigation bypass techniques allow Microsoft to develop defenses against an entire class of attack.
Microsoft said, "The reason we pay so much more for a new attack technique versus for an individual bug is that learning about new mitigation bypass techniques helps us develop defenses against entire classes of attack. This knowledge helps us make individual vulnerabilities less useful when attackers try to use them against customers. When we strengthen the platform-wide mitigations, we make it harder to exploit bugs in all software that runs on our platform, not just Microsoft applications."
Microsoft has paid out over $128,000 in its bug bounty programs so far. Interestingly, Forshaw has earned $109,400 of that total payout.
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10/9/2013 2:40:15 PM
He probably notifies the NSA first, then reveals the security flaws to MS only after the NSA have fully exploited them. MS probably can't pay him enough, since Snowden has shown everyone what happens to people who cross the NSA.
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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