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Azure, Hyper-V and Spartan Browser Added to Microsoft's Bug Bounties

Microsoft is extending its bug bounty program, which pays up to $100,000, to include Azure, Hyper-V and the new Project Spartan browser that will be included in the new Windows 10 operating system.

Microsoft's bounty program has existed for several years and had already provided awards for detecting flaws in Internet Explorer and Office 365. Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich announced the addition of its cloud service, Hyper-V and Project Spartan to the bounty program at this week's RSA Conference in San Francisco. Among his three talks at the RSA Conference was an overview of the security of the Azure cloud service where he made the announcement at the end of his presentation.

"We want to make sure we don't have attacks discovered on Hyper-V before we do, so we're asking now for researchers to be there so we can get on top of them before attackers can take advantage of them," Russinovich said. "It's showing that we really want to keep our systems secure and make sure that the good guys aren't encouraged to go take their information and do evil with it but rather help everybody get some incentive like this."

Bounties for fixes that cover known flaws range from $500 to $15,000 and Microsoft will pay up to $100,000 for a mitigation bypass to any of the company's isolation technologies. It also offers $50,000 BlueHat bonuses for discovery and mitigation of zero-day vulnerabilities. Jason Shirk of the Microsoft Security Response Center said in a blog post Wednesday  that the bounty extension will include Azure virtual machines, Azure Cloud Services, Azure Storage and Azure Active Directory, among others. The bounty will also cover Sway.com, the preview of Microsoft's new social network for sharing information. Shirk said Microsoft is only offering the bounty for Project Spartan through June 22.

Stephen Sims, a security researcher at the SANS Institute said Microsoft has paid handsomely for a number of discoveries, such as last year's $100,000 to Yang Yu, who disclosed three exploit mitigation bypass techniques to the company. "My experience with MSRC is they're kind of a pain, they're not very friendly about it but it is good that they have that program setup," Sims said. "But they do pay if you can prove to them without a doubt. If you can find one bug, it's a year's salary, potentially."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/24/2015 at 12:13 PM


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