FB, Microsoft, Google battle hackers

With more incidents of hacking proliferating, the three internet rivals are together offering bounties for experts to hack into widely used web tech in a battle against cyber security lapses.

Facebook and Microsoft, with assistance from a Google security expert, who helped develop the programme, have sponsored a programme called HackerOne. The programme calls for “friendly hackers” to hack into software the programme has picked out.

The programme selects the key software that supports the internet stack, asking these hackers to break into it for the sake of contributing to internet security. Bounties in the programme range from US$300 to US$5,000 (SG$373 to SG$6,200), depending on the the problem uncovered. For more details, click here.

“It is meant for those very, very severe bugs that would have dire consequence for the Internet if they were to get into the wrong hands,” said Facebook Product Security Lead Alex Rice told Reuters.

Each of the companies has their own bounty programmes for computer security experts who have warned them of product bugs. Microsoft’s offers up to US$ $100,000, Google’s up to US$200,000 while Facebook has not stated its maximum bounty.

The three say they are publicly cooperating on the issue of security. “Even if we are fierce competitors ... the security teams don’t have to be competitors. Our competition is the bad guys,” Rice added.

*Image from The Messiah hacker video