Google has increased the bounties it will pay for bugs uncovered in the Android operating system.
Quan To, programme manager for Android security, said that Google has been thrilled with how popular the programme has proved since it began a year ago.
"A year ago, we [started a programme offering] $38,000 per report that we used to fix vulnerabilities and protect Android users. Since then, we have received over 250 qualifying vulnerability reports," he said on the Google Security Blog.
"More than a third of them were reported in Media Server which has been hardened in Android N to make it more resistant to vulnerabilities.
"While the programme is focused on Nexus devices and has a primary goal of improving Android security, more than a quarter of the issues were reported in code that is developed and used outside the Android Open Source Project."
One researcher, @heisecode, did rather well from the bounty initiative, earning some $75,000 for 26 vulnerability reports. The average is $2,200 per report.
Nice! Google increased Android reward for bugs filed after 6.1! And thanks Google named me as the top researcher! https://t.co/4Yadh3VxVV— Peter Pi (@heisecode) June 16, 2016
Fifteen probers picked up over $10,000 each, but no-one claimed the top bounty which requires a complete remote exploit chain leading to TrustZone or Verified Boot compromise.
Google has now increased the payouts on this exploit from $30,000 to $50,000 to help motivate researchers harder to find flaws.
Other rewards have also increased, as Quan outlined. "We will now pay 33 per cent more for a high-quality vulnerability report with proof-of-concept. For example, the reward for a Critical vulnerability report with a proof-of-concept has increased from $3,000 to $4,000," he said.
"A high-quality vulnerability report with a proof-of-concept, a CTS test, or a patch will receive an additional 50 per cent. We're raising our rewards for a remote or proximal kernel exploit from $20,000 to $30,000."
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