A little over 10 years ago, we launched our Vulnerability Rewards Program (VRP). Our goal was to establish a channel for security researchers to report bugs to Google and offer an efficient way for us to thank them for helping make Google, our users, and the Internet a safer place. To recap our progress on these goals, here is a snapshot of what VRP has accomplished with the community over the past 10 years:
- Total bugs rewarded: 11,055
- Number of rewarded researchers: 2,022
- Representing 84 different countries
- Total rewards: $29,357,516
To celebrate our anniversary and ensure the next 10 years are just as (or even more) successful and collaborative, we are excited to announce the launch of our new platform, bughunters.google.com.
This new site brings all of our VRPs (Google, Android, Abuse, Chrome and Play) closer together and provides a single intake form that makes it easier for bug hunters to submit issues. Other improvements you will notice include:
- More opportunities for interaction and a bit of healthy competition through gamification, per-country leaderboards, awards/badges for certain bugs and more!
- A more functional and aesthetically pleasing leaderboard. We know a lot of you are using your achievements in the VRP to find jobs (we’re hiring!) and we hope this acts as a useful resource.
- A stronger emphasis on learning: Bug hunters can improve their skills through the content available in our new Bug Hunter University
- Streamlined publication process: we know the value that knowledge sharing brings to our community. That’s why we want to make it easier for you to publish your bug reports.
- Swag will now be supported for special occasions (we heard you loud and clear!)
We also want to take a moment to shine a light on some aspects of the VRP that are not yet well-known, such as:
- Submitting patches to open-source software is eligible for a reward
- We have rewards for research papers on the security of open source
- Your open-source software might be eligible for a subsidy
When we launched our very first VRP, we had no idea how many valid vulnerabilities – if any – would be submitted on the first day. Everyone on the team put in their estimate, with predictions ranging from zero to 20. In the end, we actually received more than 25 reports, taking all of us by surprise.
Since its inception, the VRP program has not only grown significantly in terms of report volume, but the team of security engineers behind it has also expanded – including almost 20 bug hunters who reported vulnerabilities to us and ended up joining the Google VRP team.
That is why we are thrilled to bring you this new platform, continue to grow our community of bug hunters and support the skill development of up-and-coming vulnerability researchers.
Thanks again to the entire Google bug hunter community for making our vulnerability rewards program successful. As you continue to play around with the new site and reporting system, tell us about it – we would love to hear your feedback. Until next time, keep on finding those bugs!