Microsoft Offers Biggest Security Bounty Ever to Developers

microsoftThe world’s largest software vendor, Microsoft Corporation, today announced the company has set up a massive $250,000 fund for its Blue Hat contest as part of the company’s latest efforts to challenge developers to enhance security for the world’s most popular operating system, Microsoft Windows.

 Specifically, the security contest is challenging developers to design a novel runtime technology designed to fix memory safety vulnerabilities in Windows, according to Microsoft.

The top prize will be $200,000 in cash, with the second place prize earning $50,000, and the third prize being a nice, but less exciting, MSDN Universal subscription valued at $10,000.

Many tech firms, including Google, HP, among countless others, offer extensive incentives to developers that build technologies to better secure company products.

Today’s Microsoft announcement marked the largest bounty ever offered by the company towards a security development contest, and is one of the biggest, if not the biggest prize ever offered by a tech firm.

Developers have until April 1, 2012 to submit their findings, including a detailed description and a prototype, by email ([email protected]) with the winners being announced at the Blue Hat conference later in the same year. Microsoft will judge submissions based on functionality, and how easily the security features could be bypassed.

Developers will retain all the rights to their work, but under the terms of the contest, Microsoft could use submitted work in part or in whole without a royalty.

Despite the huge prize money being offered, the contest presents a good opportunity for the company to use and expand on emerging innovative technologies all in a cost-effective way.

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Murad is an engineering graduate from Centennial college in Toronto, Canada. Write to [email protected]
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