EU to offer bug bounties for finding security flaws in open-source software

Bug bounties are a way for companies to check the security of their software by offering cash to freelancers who hunt for security exploits and then report them so that they can be fixed. The idea is that everyone benefits from this process: the company gets its software checked by a larger variety of people than they could employ by themselves, the bug hunters get offered legitimate cash for finding a security flaw instead of selling that information on the black market, and the public gets software which has been more thoroughly checked for security issues. Big tech companies like Google and Intel have been running bug bounty programs for years.

Now the European Union is getting in on the action too. From January 2019, the EU will be launching a bug bounty program as part of their Free and Open Source Software Audit project (FOSSA), focused on security issues with open-source software. The FOSSA project was started back in 2014 when security vulnerabilities were found in the OpenSSL Open Source encryption library which is used for the encryption of internet traffic. As free and open-source software performs a number of vital functions for every internet user, the European Parliament and others decided to take on the challenge of auditing the free software that they use for security issues.

Since 2014 the FOSSA project has been gathering data, sponsoring hackathons, and deciding on which bug bounties to offer. The first phase of the project focused on auditing the security of the essential Apache and KeePass software, then the project was renewed and extended to cover other open-source software as well. Now 14 out of the 15 total bug bounties will be launched in January, selected from open-source software projects that are used by EU institutions.

You can find a list of the programs included in the project and the amount offered as a bounty for each one at the website of Julia Reda, an internet activist and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Germany. The software that is part of the project includes well-known programs like VLC Media Player and 7-zip, and the bounties offered for finding an exploit range from €25,000 (about $28,000) to €90,000 (just over $100,000).

Mobile

It’s nearly impossible to lose this solar-powered location-tracking wallet

Smart wallets have soared in popularity in recent years, offering tracking and RFID blocking, so I tried out the Ekster Parliament smart wallet with solar-powered tracker card to see whether they're worth opening your old wallet for.
Computing

Keep your kids safe online with these great parental control tools

The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for your loved ones. Check out our selection of the best free parental control software for Windows and MacOS, so you can monitor your child and block unsavory sites.
Home Theater

Plex is free and easy, and you'll wonder how you survived without it

If you want a Netflix-like experience for the media you already own, you need Plex. It's the free media center software that automatically catalogs and plays your movies, music, photos, and more, on your TV. Here's how to use it.
Product Review

Lenovo’s Smart Tab P10 offers Android and Alexa but masters neither

If you’ve always fancied a smart display, but you need an Android tablet as well, then the Lenovo Smart Tab P10 could be the affordable device you’ve been dreaming of. Yet obsolete software and mediocre performance hold it back.
Computing

Here’s how to watch AMD reveal its new Ryzen chips at Computex

AMD will hold a pre-Computex keynote May 27 to announce its new line of 3rd-generation Ryzen processors and accompanying Radeon Navi graphics cards. Here's how to watch the keynote live wherever you are in the world.
Computing

Should you buy a MacBook Pro or a Razer Blade Stealth? We'll help you decide

Laptop head to heads are a great way to see which one might be the right one for you. Our latest sees the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) vs. MacBook Pro in a fight to see which one deserves to be your next laptop.
Computing

Microsoft might finally embrace USB-C on next-gen Surface Pro 7

USB-C could finally come to Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet. According to a Microsoft patent filing, the port was shown in an illustration, suggesting that the company is working to support this feature in the future.
Computing

AMD's latest Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Ryzen 3000 chips will pack a punch, and could launch as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Computing

Here’s how to watch the Nvidia Computex 2019 press conference

Here’s everything you need to know about Nvidia’s upcoming press conference at Computex 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan; including what to expect during the press conference and how and when to watch it.
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart deals

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Tricked-out e-scooters and bike lights that lock

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!