Microsoft said Wednesday that it’s extending the Microsoft Edge bounty program indefinitely. The program rewards individuals who submit vulnerabilities discovered in a “preview” version of the Microsoft Edge browser served up to Windows Insiders (slow ring). Thanks to this bounty program — and the helpful “bug hunters” — the final builds of Microsoft Edge released to the general public are even more secure.
“Over the past 10 months, we have paid out over $200,000 USD in bounties,” the company said. “This collaboration with the research community has resulted in significant improvements in Edge security, and has allowed us to offer more proactive security for our customers.”
Microsoft first began dishing out bug bounties in 2013. The first paid up to $100,000 for “novel exploitation techniques” against the Windows operating system. Another paid up to an additional $50,000 for submitting “BlueHat” ideas for defending Windows against the techniques used in the first bounty. The third program paid up to $11,000 for the discovery of critical vulnerabilities in the Internet Explorer 11 Preview.
Last August, Microsoft established its Edge bounty program to help discover Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities in preview builds of Microsoft Edge that were served up to the Windows Insider program. Dishing out up to $15,000 in cash, the program was originally slated to end on June 30, 2017. But now that it’s an ongoing program, it will join the Bounty for Defense, the Mitigation Bypass Bounty, Online Services Bug Bounty, and two other ongoing bounties in Microsoft’s lineup. Microsoft’s bounty for Office vulnerabilities ended on June 15.
According to Microsoft, the Edge browser bounty was so productive that the deadline was lifted indefinitely at the company’s discretion.
“Microsoft is committed to delivering secure products to our customers, and this bounty program helped us achieve that goal,” Microsoft said. ”We received many high-quality reports in Edge during this 10-month program. which helped keep our customers secure.”
All bounties related to Microsoft Edge will range in from $500 to $15,000. If an individual submits a qualifying vulnerability already discovered internally by Microsoft (and not yet reported), then the company will hand over a maximum cash wad of $1,500 to the first qualifying submission. All vulnerabilities must be reproducible on the latest Windows 10 preview build provided on the Windows Insider Slow Ring. Vulnerabilities relating to older builds will be deemed ineligible.
Microsoft indicates that it’s capable of paying out more than $15,000 for the Edge bounty program. The larger sum will be at Microsoft’s “sole discretion” and based on “entry quality and complexity.” Otherwise, submissions with a “high” report quality will see up to $15,000 in payment, while low-quality submissions will see up to $1,500 in payment.