Microsoft has announced that the company would be offering more than $250,000 to researchers who develop new security defenses to protect the Windows operating system against exploits.
Microsoft is calling the bounty a BlueHat Prize and is offering a grand prize of $200,000 and second prize of $50,000. According to Microsoft, the researchers will own the intellectual property from their inventions and the company will use the technology under a royalty-free license. “This is a new program to inspire security researchers to focus on security defense technologies.”
According to the BlueHat Prize website, “The inaugural Microsoft BlueHat Prize contest challenges security researchers to design a novel runtime mitigation technology designed to prevent the exploitation of memory safety vulnerabilities.” The idea here is for “original ideas to protect customers.”
“Even though there is an existing legitimate market for individual vulnerabilities…the researchers who find vulnerabilities in Microsoft products tend to come straight to us and forgo some of those individual reward programs. We respect the researchers’ rights to make a living off their research,” Microsoft stated.
Microsoft employees cannot enter this contest and you have to be over 14 years of age to enter. Deadline to submit research is April 1st, 2012.Further reading: Microsoft, Security