How does Bug Bounty Work?

Bug Bounty Work

How does bug bounty work

We live in an epoch of technical possibilities where it is hard to stay undetected and secure using technologies that have access to the Internet. But if ordinary people do not possess considerable sums on their accounts, or their personal data is just information that is not worth hacking, the situation with business giants is much more complicated.

Nowadays, companies prioritize their security and are ready to pay monetary rewards for on-time bug detection and fixing. That is the essence of bug bounty programs. So, the Bug bounty is a reward offered by an organization for ethical hackers who report bugs related to security vulnerabilities before bad actors exploit them.

Why do companies need bug bounty programs?

The more significant the sum at stake, the more it encourages researchers to discover bugs in code. In addition, companies get access to a larger pool of bounty hunters detecting multiple vulnerabilities before malicious hackers do this. Therefore, organizations should invest in such programs because they pay a monetary reward for the result, not for time spent on finding.

In addition to critical vulnerabilities detection, organizations can define testing areas. For example, one may encourage researchers to test the whole system, but others may ask not to perform penetration testing in some areas. This makes organizations’ operating systems less sensitive and positively contributes to companies’ reputations.

Dig deeper into bug bounties work

Before launching a new bug bounty program, a business should define a budget they are ready to spend for bug hunting and the scope of work and fields to be tested without negative impact on business operations run.

If the hackers’ community meets a program with competitive compensation, it gives a sign of a more serious attitude of the company toward its security. But, of course, the payout level also depends on vulnerabilities’ severity and impact.

So, what to do if bug hunters find valid bugs? First, bug bounty hunters have to fill in a disclosure report. Then, reporting bugs, security researchers should indicate in detail what the bug is, the impact on the application, and the severity level.

When developers receive reports on vulnerabilities, they first review them. Then, compensation is paid out if the bug bounty hunting was successful and hunters managed to find bugs confirmed by developers.

How much can bug hunters earn on a bug bounty program?

The first announced payout for the discovered bug was $500. It was in the mid-90s. After that, the stakes increased. For instance, Google reported spending $ 6.7 million on bug bounty programs in 2020.

Remunerations depend on the severity of security testing, the proficiency level of bug hunters, and the number of bugs revealed. Moreover, when developers fix the bug, they retest it. So, ethic hunters may try to hack well-known software for the second time and earn again.

It is worth admitting that money isn’t the only motivation. Suppose hackers use a bug bounty platform like Hacken Proof and try to take leading places on the hackers’ leaderboard. This contributes to positive self-evaluation and a general recognition which are impossible to buy.


Considerable sums spent on bounty programs are investments in security. Any data leakage can lead to unpredictable results and severely damage the reputation of developers and organizations. Hackers test systems and report vulnerabilities, in fact, simulating real threats. So they do not leave a chance for malicious hackers to penetrate.

So, by spending on the bug bounty program, you get access to talents worldwide, save on possible results of vulnerabilities, and make sure of security.

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