Pentagon throws pocket change at essential bug disclosures • The Register | Tech Bea

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Discovering and reporting essential safety flaws that might permit overseas spies to steal delicate US authorities knowledge or launch cyberattacks via Division of Protection IT methods does not carry a lot of a reward.

The Pentagon, in its most up-to-date week-long Hack US program carried out with HackerOne, paid out $75,000 in bug bounties and one other $35,000 in bonuses and prizes to moral hackers who revealed essential, high-severity vulnerabilities within the Pentagon’s networks. Uncle Sam.

For comparability: An F-35 fighter jet prices between $110 million and $136 million, relying on the mannequin, and that worth will probably rise when the Pentagon buys the following batch from Lockheed Martin. And at $33,600 per flight hour for a stadium flyby, the reward for essential software program vulnerabilities pales compared.

After all, bug hunters cannot drop bombs or watch enemies from the air. However their work can, for instance, forestall personal snoopers and overseas spies from disrupting these fight operations or co-opting their reconnaissance missions.

In response to bug bounty platform HackerOne and the Division of Protection, the Hack US initiative obtained 648 submissions from 267 safety researchers who found 349 safety holes. Info disclosure failures have been essentially the most generally reported vulnerabilities, adopted by insufficient entry controls and SQL injection.

The Pentagon didn’t say what number of bug hunters obtained bounties or how a lot every earned.

Nonetheless, when saying the competition earlier this 12 months, it pledged to pay $500 or extra for top severity bugs, $1,000 for essential holes, and as much as $5,000 for particular achievements, resembling $3,000 for the very best discover for * .

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In the meantime, Microsoft paid out $13.7 million in bug bounties unfold out amongst 335 researchers final 12 months, with a $200,000 Hyper-V Bounty payout as its largest prize. And Google awarded $8.7 million throughout 2021.

“Essentially the most profitable bug bounty packages strike a good stability between financial and social advantages,” mentioned Google’s Eduardo Vela, who leads the Product Safety Response Workforce. Register.

“For bug hunters, there must be a financial incentive for them to take part, however there’s additionally worth in creating an area the place individuals can meet, join with one another, and hack as a workforce. Bringing collectively the very best bug hunters requires each: one with out the one other will not be sufficient.”

It is also value noting that the DoD vulnerability disclosure pilot program, which resulted in April, didn’t pay any financial rewards. So not less than Hack US, with its paid (albeit paltry) bug bounties, is a step ahead.

“We now have to verify we’re two steps forward of any malicious actor,” Katie Savage, deputy director of synthetic and digital intelligence on the Digital Providers Directorate, mentioned in a press release. “By paying financial rewards to moral hackers, we strengthen our defenses in a really impactful manner.”

Nonetheless, some within the info safety neighborhood say it does not have a lot of an impression.

The Pentagon’s method should transcend rewards and embrace actual investments in safety, in response to Katie Moussouris, founder and CEO of Luta Safety.

“The US authorities’s total safety technique round bug bounties hasn’t actually developed past enjoying whack-a-bug, and must evolve past discussions of bounty pricing.” Moussouris mentioned. Register.

“The place is the continuing funding in individuals, course of, and expertise to handle or forestall most of those safety holes earlier than a bug bounty hunter can discover them?

“Until the Division of Protection desires to appear like another personal firm that claims it ‘takes safety significantly’ simply because it has a bug bounty, it wants to start out displaying how these packages are driving its broader safety efforts and aiming for significant security targets, not rewards. whole prizes to generate headlines.”

Moussouris, in his earlier roles at Microsoft, persuaded administration to start out Redmond’s first bug bounty program. Later, at HackerOne, he labored with the Division of Protection to launch Hack-the-Pentagon, which was the primary federal bug bounty program.

“CISA’s Recognized Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) checklist is an effective begin for the remainder of the US authorities and navy authorities methods had not mounted these bugs,” Moussouris mentioned. “Houston, we nonetheless have an issue throughout your complete authorities safety house.”

Discovering and reporting bugs will not resolve the issue, he added. “Our nationwide safety will depend on us rising the cyber workforce to work inside organizations to forestall and detect these safety holes early, with out ready for the gang to assist us.” ®

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Pentagon throws pocket change at critical bug disclosures • The Register