While corporations have to find a way to repair the damage that hackers do to their servers and individuals, like you and I, must change passwords and turn on two-step verification in an effort to protect our privacy and data, there is a group of hackers who are a benefit to us all. Companies like Microsoft and Google have ongoing programs, offering cash rewards to groups that help them find vulnerabilities in their software and systems.
This week, a security team in Poland received a payout of $50,000 from Google for finding security issues in the tech giant’s App Engine Cloud. We’re told that this is the largest payout that Google has given out through its Vulnerability Reward Program to date. This, and other programs like it, are a way for companies to find security breaches, before the bad guys, often called “black hats”, can do damage through hacking in and stealing sensitive data.
Microsoft has also paid out large sums to groups that help them find issues. To date, the Redmond, Washington tech leader has given out $300,000 to the white hats, including two $100,000 prizes in 2013. And Google has confirmed that it gave $150,000 to a hacker that managed to get control of a Chrome OS PC through a webpage, using an HP Chromebook 11.
Though hackers are generally known for the damage they do and havoc that they cause, there are a few who have managed to monetize their activities, while helping corporations and, by extension, benefit the rest of us.
No one can know what tragedies have been avoided through the inception of these programs, but I’m glad they exist and are being used to help. Kudos to those that use their hacking skills for all of our benefit, while making money.
Source: Business Insider