Google Inc. (GOOG), Facebook Inc (FB), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Positive Use of Hacks

Hackers in the 21st century have earned a reputation for being the biggest threats among internet users worldwide. However, their knowledge of software and computer programming doesn’t always have to be detrimental to users and companies. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and a list of other software companies have set up a bounty system called the Bug Bounty program, that will reward hackers for finding security holes. The incentive is a minimum of $5,000 per bug found.

The webpage Hackerone.com is the home to this initiative and will allow coding jocks to sign up for the bounty hunt. So, let’s take a look at what this program is all about and how Google is making hacking the new way to perform a civic duty.

bounty program

Not the first bounty hunt

Security breaches, system crashes and software bugs have been plaguing internet users for over a decade. However, when market leader Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) got fed up with hackers’ shenanigans, it decided to launch a bounty program in order to stop customer complaints. Last month, the internet giant presented its new patch rewards program, which pays computer whizzes to detect security breaches in the browsing programs. The idea behind this initiative was to solidify its system, keeping evil-doers away. But now, it looks like the trend has spread.

Several companies, one panel, big earnings

The new Bug Bounty program has the same goal as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s predecessor, but other companies like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have jumped on board. The hackers’ main goal is to find the security breaches in any of the listed programs and seal them. In return, they can expect a minimum $5,000 reward for their kindness. Now, to keep hacker chaos at bay, the participating companies established a review panel. Composed of four Microsoft men, three Facebook officials, one Google expert, and both one iSEC Partners and one Etsy employee, the panel is “responsible for defining the rules of the program, allocating bounties to where additional security research is needed most, and mediating any disagreements that might arise.”

Google taking care of business

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been toying with the idea of transforming hacking for a while now. Yesterday, the company announced its second Glassware Hackathon event for November 19, where developers will be able to test the new Glassware Development Kit in a 48-hour hackathon. This event is meant to brief developers on the upcoming Google Glass, in order to make it as secure as possible for users.


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