If you don’t know yet, Microsoft is offerings its users cash in exchange for finding vulnerabilities and exploits in the upcoming Windows 8.1 Preview which is expected to launch on June 26, the same time as the Microsoft Build Developer Conference. The final version is expected to hit the shelves later this year.
Microsoft has announced that they will be paying up to $100,000 for finding truly novel exploits in their latest operating system, Windows 8.1 Preview. This will help the Redmond giant find out about the vulnerabilities so that they can improve the security of their operating system.
Additionally, Microsoft will also pay up to $11,000 for critical vulnerabilities that can affect the performance of Internet Explorer 11 Preview. The Internet Explorer bounty program will commence on 26 June and users can submit their entries by 26 July, 2013.
I am not sure whether this is a good idea or not as the browser market is currently dominated by Chrome and Firefox. Personally, I don’t see myself switching to Internet Explorer, and it might be very difficult for Microsoft to make people switch from other browsers because of the reputation of earlier versions. More details about the type of vulnerabilities and their bounty can be found here.
Lastly, under the BlueHat Bonus for Defense program, the company is willing to pay up to $50,000 for defensive ideas that accompany a qualifying Mitigation Bypass submission. This might be a good idea as it will help to improve their security features in order to protect its users.
Microsoft is not the first company to start this kind of program. Many companies launched similar programs in order to find exploits and improve their products. I am not sure about the impact it will have on the Windows 8.1 Preview but will it be able to change the reputation of Internet Explorer? My default browser is Google Chrome and I don’t see myself shifting to Internet Explorer in the near future.