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Microsoft offers bounties for novel hacker tactics

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

Customers get a look at products at Microsoft's pop-up store on October 26, 2012 in New York (AFP/File, Don Emmert)

Customers get a look at products at Microsoft’s pop-up store on October 26, 2012 in New York (AFP/File, Don Emmert)

AFP - Microsoft on Wednesday posted bounties of up to $100,000 for “truly novel” ways to hack the latest version of its Windows software for powering computers.

“For the first time ever, Microsoft is offering direct cash payouts in exchange for reporting certain types of vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques,” the US 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 program will launch with three categories of ‘wanted’ hacker tricks on June 26, the same day Microsoft is to preview a tweaked version of its operating system referred to as Windows Blue but officially called Windows 8.1.

A Mitigation Bypass Bounty will pay up to $100,000 for “truly novel exploitation techniques” targeting Windows 8.1 and as much as $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 $11,000 for critical vulnerabilities exposed in the version of Internet Explorer browser software tailored for Windows 8.1.


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