Jun 21, 2013

    Hack Windows and you could be $126k richer

    MICROSOFT posted bounties of up to US$100,000 (S$126,000) on Wednesday for "truly novel" ways to hack the latest version of its Windows software.

    "For the first time, Microsoft is offering direct cash payouts in exchange for reporting certain types of vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques," the United States software titan said in a blog post.

    "We are making this shift in order to learn about these issues earlier and to increase the win-win between Microsoft's customers and the security-researcher community."

    The bounty programme will be launched with three categories of "wanted" hacker tricks on Wednesday, the same day that Microsoft is to preview a tweaked version of its operating system, referred to as Windows Blue but officially called Windows 8.1.

    The software giant will pay up to US$100,000 for "truly novel exploitation techniques" targeting Windows 8.1, and as much as US$50,000 for ways to defend against hacker attacks that qualify for rewards.

    Microsoft said that, for a month, it will pay as much as US$11,000 for critical vulnerabilities exposed in the version of Internet Explorer browser software tailored for Windows 8.1.

    Details are available online at