What is a Bug Bounty?
Let’s start with a big picture definition of a bug bounty program. A bug bounty is a program in which a researcher, through open submission, exposes flaws in a code or software solution for which they receive an incentive. There is often cash attached to the bug bounty.
Typically, bug bounties reward the researcher with a monetary reward of some type. For example, many research bug bounties have awarded cash prizes. Bug bounty programs have existed in software and web companies for decades, for a variety of reasons.
Bug bounties can be competitive, or they can be noncompetitive. A noncompetitive program is usually an invitation-only program.
Why do Companies need Bug Bounty Hunters?
Security researchers help companies solve security problems and use their discoveries to fix bugs so companies can protect their data from hackers.Bug Bounty Hunting is a very popular way for security researchers to make some fast cash. Simply put, security researchers find security flaws, companies offer compensation for them. As long as security researchers can solve the flaw, they get paid.
How to join as a bounty hunter?
Let’s take a look at what you can do as a bug bounty hunter and who has the right to consider you a bounty hunter.
Before we dive into the bounty hunting tools, let’s explain the definition of a bounty hunter. This person, is defined as the entity who sets the terms for the payment, depending on the potential payout.
For example, if you have a virus on a website you can be considered a bounty hunter. You need to know who is paying you.
Once you have made your list, you need to pick the bounty hunters that can accept your reward.
Whether it is Google, Yandex, Kaspersky, or a government agency. If you can receive a million or more dollars, you are more likely to be accepted as a bounty hunter.
But before you go, there is a few things you should know.
Bug Bounty Hunting is not easy.
What are the benefits of being a Bug Bounty Hunter?
Himanshu Bhagat – Managing Director, Puneet Softworks
As a privacy/security focused developer, it is interesting to get rewarded for the right thing to do, which is get the latest versions of code on release and perform end-to-end penetration testing. You only need to focus on the right target and focus on effective data collection, which I find very encouraging.
Charles Guillemette – Editor, Developer Insider
If I had my choice, I’d spend all my time doing bug bounty hunting. It’s like sitting around a fire with good friends, a beer, some good music, and good writing in front of you. It’s all you need.
Being a “bounty hunter” is kind of like an extended work vacation. At least, that’s what it feels like.
Have you ever wondered how important a matter it was that web browsers had a known and standard UI flag for a program called “Secure connection” that would signal to web browsers that a program was authentic? Of course, you may have known that it was there for other security purposes but that was really it. The security and speed benefits of a “Secure connection” flag were quite evident, but very few of us bothered to care about it.
But at that time, there was no major bug bounty programs, which means that finding such a vulnerability was not easy. Most companies wouldn’t pay to help their customers discover such vulnerabilities, so it was a nice deal for savvy and enterprising web developers who saw the value of the feature and its security properties.