Google is working tirelessly to ensure their Android operating system is secure. After the first year of Android, Security Rewards has been wrapped up, it turns out the company paid US$500,000 in bounties. While these numbers are overall positive, Android remains one of the most vulnerable operating systems in the world.
Android Security Rewards Is Successful
Over 80 researchers submitted their findings on bugs and vulnerabilities for the Android operating system. Quick calculations tell us this means every researcher received US$6,700, or US$2,200 per reported vulnerability. But as is always the case, these average numbers do not tell the whole story.
Based on the information provided by Android Security program manager Quan To, several researchers were paid the maximum amount of US$10,000 for their findings. In fact, there is one person who reported no less than 26 different issues with Android over the past year. As a result, he was paid US$75,750; which is a very lucrative amount for white hat hackers.
It is positive to see Google acknowledging they will not be able to address all Android issues on their accord. With millions of people using the operating system on a daily basis and a huge developer community, offering bounties in exchange for bug reports was the right decision. That being said, the amount paid out surpassed most people’s expectations.
Moreover, it is interesting to note the Android Security Rewards initiative was originally designed to focus on Nexus devices. But it quickly became apparent security researchers found issues in AOSP, OEM, and even the Android kernel. Addressing all these matters became a top priority for the company from that point forward.
In the end, it is important to remember this Android Security Rewards program is beneficial to the mobile ecosystem’s security overall. Rather than just focusing on what Android and iOS do in their world, the overall mobile industry can benefit from these security updates. But there is still a long way to go before we can enjoy secure mobile environments.
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