Tech giant Google is now offering security researchers and hackers alike a $1,000 payout to those who can successfully break into apps on its Play Store in an effort to help bolster app security and locate weaknesses in their operating system and coding. “Bug bounty programs” as News Factor reports it are becoming increasingly more popular in the technology industry as a way to reverse the exploitation of security breaches.
As Digital Trends reports, the rules of the program are fairly simple, “Once you discover a bug or vulnerability in one of the participating apps, you simply report it to the developers and work with them to fix the issue. Once the issue has been resolved, the app developers will pay you, and then Google will chip in a $1,000 bonus on top of whatever you were already paid.”
Rewarding hackers enable companies like Google to discover their own vulnerabilities in software and have them disclosed to in-house developers in order to mend them before breaches involving malware become rampant, affecting an untold number of customers. According to Tech Times, these programs from technology companies, “are initiated directly by the company to seek help from hackers, cyber security professionals, and researchers in finding malware and other viruses in an app. For game companies, like with Nintendo, they’re sometimes used as a way to find out if the console has any flaws that can lead to piracy.”
Google’s current focus comes just as the company is launching the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, both of which have Android operating systems. Moreover, Google has been blamed in the past for a seemingly poor security moderation on its play store that has resulted in consumer complaints. The security firm Check Point has reported suggestions that Google’s automated security systems failed to catch 50 malware-infected apps which were downloaded by nearly 4.2 million Android users before it was detected and removed by Google developers.
Unlike the tightly-controlled iOS operating system developed and run by Apple, the relatively susceptible Android operating system is now being affected by malware at a greater rate which has been found by tech researchers. Though, cyber security company Symantec states Android’s larger market share may be the cause of the discrepancy between Google and Apple and not a more laxed security procedure for its operating system. Due to this, Google has now partnered with HackerOne, a popular bug bounty platform to search for, identify, and help fix security breaches. So far, only eight app developers, including Snapchat, Tinder, and Dropbox have signed on to the bounty program.
Although Google is now paying $1,000 to hack into its Android smartphone operating system, it also pays big bucks to hackers and cyber security investigators to find possible breaches in its Chrome web browser. Some can claim Google’s top reward of $100,000 is a potential massive security breach is found and fixed, saving the company an unknown amount of money in the future.
Consumers are now at an ever-increasing risk from malware and ransomware from unknown perpetrators that hide in the shadows online. As well, with the major cyber security breach from Equifax a few weeks ago, people are beginning to feel uneasy about their personal information being stolen and used without their knowledge of it. UpTech is now offering the security you need in a world rampant with security breaches and data hacks. UpTech knows there is nothing more important than a consumer’s personal device security or the security of a business and their client’s data. Therefore, it is the job of the security experts of UpTech to make sure IT and security solutions are easy to come by.