Intel opens up bug bounty program with awards up to $250000

Intel opens up bug bounty program with awards up to $250000

Intel has also introduced a new limited-time bug bug bounty program for side-channel vulnerabilities with payments of up to $250,000 available to security researchers.

Intel is promising up to $250,000 to security researchers who uncover new side-channel vulnerabilities in its processors, in the wake of the Meltdown and Spectre exploits that took advantage of such vulnerabilities. Bounty programs, which give security researchers an incentive to report those bugs directly to the company responsible for the product instead of dumping the details of those vulnerabilities on the public internet, are now used by nearly all major tech vendors.

'In support of our recent security-first pledge, we've made several updates to our [bug bounty] programme, ' Intel's Rick Echevarria announced late yesterday. Other chip vendors are joining the increasingly crowded market, and to maintain its customer base, Intel has to revamp its security approach.

Intel said "coordinated disclosure is widely regarded as the best way to responsibly protect customers from security exploits" as it minimises the risk of vulnerability information becoming publicly known before mitigations are available. The more inclusive a program, the easier it will be for white hat hackers to participate and find vulnerabilities.

Intel may get more than what it bargained for in terms of what security researchers will be able to find.

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It's no surprise Intel is doing all it can to prevent any future Meltdown and Spectre debacles from happening.

Perhaps the biggest change: The programme is shifting from an invitation-only platform to general-access, whereby all security researchers signed up to the HackerOne platform will be eligible for rewards.

The program also features permanent bug bounties of up to US$10,000, US$30,000 and US$100,000 for critical flaws found in Intel software, firmware and hardware respectively.

"We will continue to evolve the program as needed to make it as effective as possible and to help us fulfill our security-first pledge", the company added.

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