Google’s Vulnerability Rewards Program (or VRP) has been steadily chugging along for over a decade now, recently marking its 10-year anniversary with a relaunch of the website that included gamification elements like leaderboards and badges, alongside improved tutorials. And all told, it seems like a successful initiative — in 2021, Google doled out $8.7 million to individuals who uncovered bugs, with 696 researchers in 62 countries getting paid, a marked increase from the $6.7 million distributed in 2020. Now Google is adding even higher incentives for its program, with double the rewards for eligible reports on Google Nest and Fitbit devices.
These double rewards apply retroactively, so any eligible reports submitted to Google in 2021 can also earn those big bucks. This backs up the company’s commitment to 5 years of support for Nest devices, but there are some important caveats to keep in mind, the biggest being that this new double bonus will only last for 6 months. All other bug reports will continue to earn their existing reward levels.
To help streamline the process, Google is also bringing all its first-party devices together in the Android and Google Devices Security Reward Program. This was previously known as the Android Security Reward Program, which focused on Pixel phones — to that Google’s now adding the following devices:
- Cameras & Doorbells: Nest Cam (battery), Nest Cam (wired), Nest Doorbell (battery), Nest Doorbell (wired)
- Speakers: Nest Mini (2nd gen), Nest Audio
- Displays: Nest Hub Max, Nest Hub (2nd Gen)
- Thermostats: Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Thermostat
- Wi-Fi: Google WiFi, Nest WiFi
- Streaming: Chromecast with Google TV, Chromecast
- Smoke & CO alarm: Nest Protect
- Door lock: Nest x Yale Lock
- Smartwatches: Versa 3, Sense
- Trackers: Luxe, Inspire 2, Charge 5
Not only are the increased rewards are a fantastic incentive, the VRP is now easier than ever to join since its overhaul last year. If you’re curious what getting involved might entail (even if you’re a beginner), Google’s Bug Hunter University provides some great resources to help get you started.
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