Have you ever wondered how much money hackers and researchers make? security reporting security vulnerabilities and software bugs? For some, the detection of vulnerabilities into a sites and applications is one challenge while for others it is one significant source of revenue. In recent years, more and more Companies pay hackers to look for security vulnerabilities in software and services. This process is known as “bug bounty programs".
Companies announce their plans and ask hackers to try to find bugs, in exchange for large sums of money (usually determined by the severity of the bug). In this way, agencies enhance their security.
Η HackerOne, which runs bug bounty programs for organizations such as the Department of Defense USA and Google, released new data about number of vulnerabilities identified by hackers (who have registered in her projects) and amount of money they received. According to HackerOne, they have been reported over 181.000 vulnerabilities and more than $ 100 million has been given.
The company said that last year more than $ 44,75 million was given to hackers around the world who participated in bug bounty programs. Compared to the previous year, there was an increase 86%. Most of the money was spent on bug bounty programs organized by their organizations USA.
Some bugs can pay off for hackers
According to HackerOne, the average amount given for detection critical vulnerabilities has reached $ 3.650, while the average amount paid per vulnerability is $ 979. Critical vulnerabilities account for about 8% of all reports, while reports of serious vulnerabilities account for 21%.
"The hacking remains a steady source of income for some hackers", Says the platform. Nearly nine in ten are under 35 years old and one in five say hacking is the only source of revenue.
Millionaires from…. bug bounty programs
In the last 10 years, nine hackers have raised over $ 1 million by participating in HackerOne bug bounty programs. This shows that finding and reporting vulnerabilities can be very profitable. Also, more than 200 hackers have earned more than $ 100.000 and 9.000 hackers have earned "at least something". Finally, half of the hackers have found at least one vulnerability, have won $ 1.000 or more.
As mentioned above, for many hackers, debugging is a challenge. They are not so interested in money. The skills they learn can do good to their careers. Four out of five said they want to use the knowledge they gain for a job.
According to ZDNet, o COVID-19 has led to an increase in attacks on organizations and companies. However, there is also an increase in hackers wanting to help by detecting and correcting errors that could be used by Criminals of cyberspace. During this time, hackers' subscriptions to bug bounty programs have increased by 59% and vulnerability reports have increased by 28%.