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‘We are not motivated by profits’ – Open Bug Bounty maintainers on finding a niche in the crowdsourced AppSec market


Vulnerability disclosure platform pushed by ‘transparency and equity’, with practically 1,000,000 bugs fastened since 2014

Open Bug Bounty maintainers on finding a niche in the crowdsourced application security market

Open Bug Bounty has round 1,300 lively bug bounty packages and 22,000 registered safety researchers, and is approaching a million coordinated disclosures, leading to round half 1,000,000 vulnerability patches.

The mission, which was based in 2014, is nonetheless dwarfed in scale by the industrial bug bounty market’s large beasts.

Nevertheless, the safety researchers and different “cybersecurity veterans” who preserve the platform insist that the likes of HackerOne and Bugcrowd – based earlier in 2012 and 2011, respectively – usually are not direct rivals.

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“Many industrial bug bounty platforms at the moment are shifting to penetration testing and different conventional MSSP providers, diverging from conventional bug bounties,” Open Bug Bounty’s 10 maintainers instructed The Day by day Swig in collectively-written feedback.

Certainly, the rising reputation of ‘pen test-as-a-service’ has additionally given rise to crimson team-inspired crowdsourced safety platforms like Cobalt and Synack.

In contrast, “Open Bug Bounty is a pure crowd-security testing and vulnerability disclosure platform the place everybody can take part with out restrictions whereas following the foundations and code of conduct.”

‘Not motivated by income’

One other key distinction between Open Bug Bounty and rival platforms, which additionally embrace Intigriti, YesWeHack, HackenProof, and extra, is the previous’s standing as a non-profit.

Furthermore, the service is free to make use of for web site homeowners in addition to researchers – leaving the maintainers to cowl internet hosting and net growth prices themselves.

“We’re not motivated by income and [are] completely happy to spend our evenings to keep up the platform,” they are saying.

So, what motivates them to speculate each money and time into the mission?

“We’re near reaching a million fastened vulnerabilities,” they clarify. “We’re excited to see how safety researchers and web site homeowners leverage the platform to make the net a safer place.

“The Open Bug Bounty group is generally composed of cybersecurity veterans [and] our underlying objective is to deliver transparency, effectivity and equity to the business.”

Open Bug Bounty is a bug bounty and crowdsourced security platformOpen Bug Bounty is run by a small group of maintainers

‘Complete’, free service

Naturally, there’s a gulf in monetary sources between Open Bug Bounty and HackerOne and Bugcrowd, whose progress has been propelled by tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} of enterprise capital funding.

“We can’t present the identical class of UI/UX or 24/7 help” supplied by “the industrial gamers,” they concede.

However they nonetheless present an “complete” service “without charge” to program homeowners by marshalling their comparatively modest sources correctly.

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They “present a coordinated and accountable vulnerability disclosure to any web site proprietor” in step with the ISO 29147 customary, however “don’t supply any intermediation with the researchers – who all the time talk straight with this system homeowners”.

Submissions are restricted to frequent net utility vulnerabilities “which can be detectable with a non-intrusive handbook testing”, they add.

“For XSS and related vulnerabilities, we provide free triage and submission verification to bug bounty homeowners. We don’t settle for, nevertheless, SQL injections and RCEs straight on the platform however present a central place to coordinate how such findings are to be reported – if licensed by the bug bounty scope.  

Eclectic shopper base

What sort of organizations does the Open Bug Bounty mannequin enchantment to? A fairly big selection, in keeping with the platform’s overseers.

“We now have IT and e-commerce firms, marketplaces, universities, and even some governmental entities internet hosting their bug bounties at Open Bug Bounty,” say the maintainers.

“We usually obtain incoming enquiries from banks and different firms with strict compliance and confidentiality necessities.

Some firms host their program on each Open Bug Bounty and a significant industrial platform, they add.

With out mediation on supply, nevertheless, many firms with massive budgets “will most likely go to industrial platforms to outsource the whole strategy of vulnerability disclosure and mediation with researchers”.

Together with the enforcement of “clear guidelines”, the absence of mediation has restricted their expertise of disputes to “remoted instances”. These points, principally stemming from harmless misunderstandings, are principally “quickly resolved”.

There are periodic complaints about strictly prohibited situations of automated testing of internet sites, add the maintainers, and these can result in swift account suspensions.

Open Bug Bounty is a non-profit bug bounty platformPractically a million safety vulnerabilities have been disclosed via Open Bug Bounty since 2014

Bounties and suggestions

Researchers on the Open Bug Bounty platform earn honorary badges to mirror the standard and amount of their legitimate submissions, with the emphasis heavier on the previous.

Extra tangible rewards can embrace monetary bounties, with some cryptocurrency initiatives paying five-figure sums, and sensible watches, reward playing cards and different non-financial items. Web site homeowners are inspired to at the least categorical gratitude or write a suggestion on researchers’ profiles for profitable submissions.

“In our expertise, web site homeowners extremely admire the researchers who come to assist and usually are not solely motivated by a monetary reward, and [sometimes] pay small further bonuses for probably the most useful submissions,” say the maintainers.

Increasing reporting capabilities

The maintainers not too long ago upgraded the e-mail system for notifying organizations of vulnerability submissions, and are “repeatedly bettering” reporting necessities to make sure that submissions from researchers are “sufficiently detailed, clear and actionable.”

Reporting capabilities are being expanded to “cowl a broader scope of safety vulnerabilities” too.

The maintainers say they’re additionally open to enchancment solutions from the group and partnerships that may “supply higher DevSecOps integrations, assisted remediation and different value-added options”.

However with industrial bug bounty distributors more and more “transferring to penetration testing providers to extend income underneath stress of buyers”, Open Bug Bounty will proceed to evolve in step with its founding mission: “providing an open, clear, and honest platform that anybody can be a part of no matter his or her nationality or variety of safety certificates”.

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