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Announcing Google’s Open Source Software Vulnerability Rewards Program

Today, we are launching Google’s Open Source Software Vulnerability Rewards Program (OSS VRP) to reward discoveries of vulnerabilities in Google’s open source projects. As the maintainer of major projects such as Golang, Angular, and Fuchsia, Google is among the largest contributors and users of open source in the world. With the addition of Google’s OSS VRP to our family of Vulnerability Reward Programs (VRPs), researchers can now be rewarded for finding bugs that could potentially impact the entire open source ecosystem.

Google has been committed to supporting security researchers and bug hunters for over a decade. The original VRP program, established to compensate and thank those who help make Google’s code more secure, was one of the first in the world and is now approaching its 12th anniversary. Over time, our VRP lineup has expanded to include programs focused on Chrome, Android, and other areas. Collectively, these programs have rewarded more than 13,000 submissions, totaling over $38M paid. 

The addition of this new program addresses the ever more prevalent reality of rising supply chain compromises. Last year saw a 650% year-over-year increase in attacks targeting the open source supply chain, including headliner incidents like Codecov and the Log4j vulnerability that showed the destructive potential of a single open source vulnerability. Google’s OSS VRP is part of our $10B commitment to improving cybersecurity, including securing the supply chain against these types of attacks for both Google’s users and open source consumers worldwide.

Projects

Google’s OSS VRP encourages researchers to report vulnerabilities with the greatest real, and potential, impact on open source software under the Google portfolio. The program focuses on:

  • All up-to-date versions of open source software (including repository settings) stored in the public repositories of Google-owned GitHub organizations (eg. Google, GoogleAPIs, GoogleCloudPlatform, …).

The top awards will go to vulnerabilities found in the most sensitive projects: Bazel, Angular, Golang, Protocol buffers, and Fuchsia. After the initial rollout we plan to expand this list. Be sure to check back to see what’s been added.

Vulnerabilities 

To focus efforts on discoveries that have the greatest impact on the supply chain, we welcome submissions of:

  • Vulnerabilities that lead to supply chain compromise

  • Design issues that cause product vulnerabilities

  • Other security issues such as sensitive or leaked credentials, weak passwords, or insecure installations

Depending on the severity of the vulnerability and the project’s importance, rewards will range from $100 to $31,337. The larger amounts will also go to unusual or particularly interesting vulnerabilities, so creativity is encouraged.

Before you start, please see the program rules for more information about out-of-scope projects and vulnerabilities, then get hacking and let us know what you find. If your submission is particularly unusual, we’ll reach out and work with you directly for triaging and response. In addition to a reward, you can receive public recognition for your contribution. You can also opt to donate your reward to charity at double the original amount.

Not sure whether a bug you’ve found is right for Google’s OSS VRP? Don’t worry, if needed, we’ll route your submission to a different VRP that will give you the highest possible payout. We also encourage you to check out our Patch Rewards program, which rewards security improvements to Google’s open source projects (for example, up to $20K for fuzzing integrations in OSS-Fuzz).

 

Google is proud to both support and be a part of the open source software community. Through our existing bug bounty programs, we’ve rewarded bug hunters from over 84 countries and look forward to increasing that number through this new VRP. The community has continuously surprised us with its creativity and determination, and we cannot wait to see what new bugs and discoveries you have in store. Together, we can help improve the security of the open source ecosystem. 

Give it a try, and happy bug hunting! 

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Kimberly Samra