2 min read

Found a flaw in a popular Android app? Google might give you $1000

Graham CLULEY

October 21, 2017

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Found a flaw in a popular Android app? Google might give you $1000

Google has announced a new bug bounty program that aims to uncover security holes in high-profile Android apps.

Perhaps surprisingly, however, the apps that Google wants you to examine for vulnerabilities as part of its “Google Play Security Reward Program” are not just their own creations in the official Android app store, but also those of other developers.

At the moment there is only a short list of third-party developers that will be considered eligible for a $1000 bug bounty reward under the newly-announced program:

  • Alibaba
  • Dropbox
  • Duolingo
  • Headspace
  • Line
  • Mail.ru
  • Snapchat
  • Tinder

Google is asking vulnerability researchers to report issues directly to the appropriate developer. After the vulnerability has been patched white-hats have up to 90 days to submit the issue directly to the Play Security Rewards Program to be considered for a bounty payout.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll be filling your pockets for any vulnerability you find in an eligible Android app. As Google explains, the bug bounty is only available for a certain class of flaw – namely any remote code execution vulnerability “that allows an attacker to run code of their choosing on a user”s device without user knowledge or permission.”

Examples of qualifying vulnerabilities include causing code to be downloaded from the network and executed, causing a banking app to make money transfers on behalf of a user without their consent, opening a webpage that could lead to a phishing attack.

Google explained in a blog post its reasoning behind the new bug bounty program:

“The program is limited to a select number of developers at this time to get initial feedback. Developers can contact their Google Play partner manager to show interest. All developers will benefit when bugs are discovered because we will scan all apps for them and deliver security recommendations to the developers of any affected apps.”

It feels to me that a bug bounty program like this can only be a good thing. It’s good news for the app developers (who will surely appreciate having vulnerabilities reported to them so that they can be fixed before they are exploited), it’s good news for Google (who desperately wants to improve Google Play’s reputation as a safe source for apps), and it’s good for vulnerability researchers who can profit from their discoveries.

Oh, and most importantly, it’s good news for users.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

August Spam Debrief: Bitdefender Labs Warns of Fraud Campaigns Exploiting the Russia-Ukraine War

August Spam Debrief: Bitdefender Labs Warns of Fraud Campaigns Exploiting the Russia-Ukraine War

August 31, 2022

4 min read
Snake Keylogger Returns in Malspam Campaign Disguised as Business Portfolio from IT Vendor

Snake Keylogger Returns in Malspam Campaign Disguised as Business Portfolio from IT Vendor

August 30, 2022

2 min read
What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

July 27, 2022

2 min read
Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

July 07, 2022

5 min read
Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

June 28, 2022

2 min read
Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

June 28, 2022

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Prison for ex-eBay staff who aggressively cyberstalked company's critics with Craigslist sex party ads and funeral wreaths Prison for ex-eBay staff who aggressively cyberstalked company's critics with Craigslist sex party ads and funeral wreaths
Graham CLULEY

September 30, 2022

2 min read
Honolulu Man Sabotaged Former Employer’s Network and Business Using Still-Active Credentials Honolulu Man Sabotaged Former Employer’s Network and Business Using Still-Active Credentials
Silviu STAHIE

September 30, 2022

1 min read
North Korean Gang Uses Compromised Open Source Software to Distribute Malware, Researchers Find North Korean Gang Uses Compromised Open Source Software to Distribute Malware, Researchers Find
Silviu STAHIE

September 30, 2022

1 min read