Google's Vulnerability Program ups the ante for helpful hackers

This is not your ordinary rewards program, it’s Google’s way of paying it forward… to hackers. After celebrating the one year anniversary of its unique initiative this past November — in which the coding-inclined are compensated for exposing critical flaws across its suite of web services — the folks over at Mountain View have updated the program’s policies with a bigger chunk of cash. Previously, the search giant had set a max payout of $3,133.7 for any discovered vulnerabilities (a bizarre sum, we know), but that cap has now seen an increase up to $20,000 depending on the severity of the reported bug. For a company with billion dollar coffers, the move appears to be none other than a good faith investment in the security research community. But if you lean a bit closer to the paranoiac line, it could also be viewed as a countermeasure to other, higher-paying firms with less than honorable intentions. Whether your rose-colored glasses are on or off, it’s still nice work if you can get paid for it. And who knows? You might even make it to the Security Hall of Fame.