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Google’s paying double for help finding smart home and wearable bugs | #android | #security | #hacking | #aihp


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.

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google-vrp-2021-stats

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:

Google Nest

  • 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

Fitbit

  • 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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