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Hackers Go Pro, Seeking Bounties for Bugs

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Ethical hacking is becoming increasingly lucrative.

Hunters of software bugs are turning professional as companies offer increasingly lucrative rewards for identifying those bugs.

Credit: Affinity Security Services

People who hunt for software bugs are turning professional, as companies are offering increasingly lucrative rewards.

Bug-bounty program manager HackerOne said it has registered more than 300,000 hackers, and firms have paid out $42 million in bounties via its platform since November 2013.

Meanwhile, Microsoft aims to extend the bounty program for its Azure cloud service, and has constructed a secure server for researchers to explore the platform for vulnerabilities.

Apple intends to allow highly skilled hackers access to its devices to stress-test safeguards, and is offering up to $1 million for those whose hacks are successful.

HackerOne estimates about 75% of bug researchers pursue fast bounties by finding website vulnerabilities, although seeking flaws in more complex professional-grade software promises much higher payouts.

From The Wall Street Journal
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