By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 21, 2013 03:02 PM EDT
Finding flaws may not always be a good thing, but in this case it can earn you up to 100,000 from Microsoft.
The software giant is offering a substantial bounty for people who find bugs in Windows 8.1. More precisely, Microsoft has up to $100,000 prepared as a top prize for finding an exploit that allows one to bypass the built-in protections of Windows 8.1. The bounty program is launching soon, but requires a novel exploitation scheme.
"Friends, hackers, researchers! Want to help us protect customers, making some of our most popular products better? And earn money doing so? Step right up," reads Microsoft's inviting announcement.
Starting on June 26, 2013, Microsoft will kick off three bounty programs:
1. Mitigation Bypass Bounty
This program will bring up to $100,000 to one talented individual who is capable of discovering "truly novel exploitation techniques" that trump the protections built into Windows 8.1, the latest version of the company's popular operating system. The timeframe for this program is ongoing. The point of this scheme is to help Microsoft learn about potential exploitation techniques early on in order to improve security.
2. BlueHat Bonus for Defense
In addition to the aforementioned $100,000, Microsoft will also pay another $50,000 to those who come up with good defensive ideas to address a qualifying Mitigation Bypass submission. This program runs in conjunction with the Mitigation Bypass Bounty program and has an ongoing timeframe as well.
"Doing so highlights our continued support of defensive technologies and provides a way for the research community to help protect more than a billion computer systems worldwide."
3. Internet Explorer 11 Preview Bug Bounty
Microsoft's Internet Explorer may not be the most popular browser out there, but the company wants to improve it nonetheless. Microsoft will pay up to $11,000 for finding critical vulnerabilities that affect Internet Explorer 11 Preview on Windows 8.1 Preview. Those interested in this program can jump on board in the first 30 days of the Internet Explorer 11 beta period, i.e. between June 26 and July 26. In other words, while the other two programs have an ongoing timeframe, this one has only 30 days.
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