Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) said today that it will be offering at least $140 to hackers and security researchers who help it uncover holes in its system. The micro-blogging company said it will reward them through its bug bounty program for reporting flaws and other vulnerabilities in its platform.
Twitter offers rewards
Of course there is a catch in getting the reward. In order for Twitter to pay out, the hacker or security researcher must keep his findings under wraps until after Twitter has had time to shut down the bug, reports The Verge. The reason for this is obvious, as publicly disclosing holes before Twitter has had time to fix them would open up the micro-blogging platform wide for anyone who wants to exploit those holes. This is pretty much standard practice for researchers who find bugs anyway, although some have disclosed their findings early if they think it is taking a company too long to fix it and the issue is serious.
Twitter said it will hand out $140 or more for every bug someone uncovers if it relates to its desktop or mobile website, iOS and Android apps and some of its other properties like Tweetdeck. There is no maximum reward. Since the introduction of the program, Twitter has paid off 44 people and shut down 46 vulnerabilities in its system.
Twitter joins other tech companies
The company joins a long list of prominent technology companies that offer rewards for hackers or security researchers who help them out. Since it’s virtually impossible for one company to stay on top of every security hole, it’s very important to have a bug bounty program like this in place.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) also have similar programs. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t, however. As the number of times hackers get into Apple’s systems increases, it’s looking more and more like the company should consider beginning one. Just this week, hackers broke into a hole in iCloud and stole nude photos belonging to celebrities who had taken them with their iPhones and stored them in Apple’s cloud.