Microsoft launches Windows Bounty program, offering awards up to $250000

Microsoft launches Windows bug bounty program with rewards ranging from $500 to $250,000

As with all of Microsoft's bounty efforts, you can find the current status of active programs and their associates payouts and status at the dedicated MSRC Security TechCenter site. The rewards are paid on a sliding scale down to $500.

It'll cover a bit more ground in Windows 10, and features much loftier rewards for bug finders (thus perhaps making it a bit more compelling over selling the exploits to the highest-bidding third party.) This time out, awards go all the way up to $250,000 for anyone who's able to discover exploits in Microsoft Hyper-V, the company's virtualization software.

Furthermore, besides opening all Windows features to hackers, Microsoft also announced it increased monetary rewards, with security researchers having the opportunity to earn from $500 to $250,000 for reported bugs.

If you're interested in the maximum quarter-million bounty, your only option is Hyper-V program, although you have multiple operating systems to choose from: Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server Insider Preview. It's always better to find and fix a bug before it becomes a problem, especially when it comes to security. Last month, the Edge bounty program was made an ongoing scheme no longer tied to any particular timeframe. The company has also announced payouts for vulnerabilities in beta-release software available in the Slow Ring of the Windows Insider programme, including $500 to $30,000 (£383 to £23,001) for flaws in the Windows Defender Application Guard and $500 to $15,000 (£383 to £11,501) for flaws in Microsoft Edge or the underlying Windows operating system itself.

In March, Microsoft launched its Office Insider Builds bug bounty program, in which the reward limit was set at up to $15,000 in the normal course, and for "certain submissions", participants could gain up to $15,000 more, notes ZDNet. Paying a bounty costs the company only a little compared to fixing loopholes after it's too late.

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