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Web giants join forces to tackle bugs

Graeme Parton

Rivals Facebook, Microsoft and Google have announced that they will work together in a bid to remove the number of bugs affecting  internet users.

As part of the project, the companies will offer rewards to what they called “friendly hackers” who are able to hunt down the errors. With their efforts, the tech firms are hoping to create a “safer internet”.

The programme, which has been given the name ‘Hackerone’, will see the hackers offered cash bounties for their work, with rewards ranging from around £180 to more than £3,000. A special panel will be set up by the three companies to determine how much each find is worth.

All internet users have been invited to get involved with the scheme, except those in parts of the world which are affected by US trade restrictions, like Iran, Syria, Cuba and North Korea.

Children have also been encouraged to join in, although their parents will be required to accept the cash rewards.

The bounties are set to be paid by Facebook and Microsoft, while Google will supply an expert for the panel, which has already put forward some ideas for areas that could be looked at.

As well as highlighting some key pieces of web software to focus on, the firms have devised a category which is simply called ‘the internet’. Those whose bug-finds fit into this section will be rewarded with a prize of at least £3,000.

Microsoft is also thought to have its own separate bounty scheme, with a prize fund of more than £600,000.

The firms’ joint announcement comes after Microsoft revealed a security risk in its Windows operating system which could allow hackers to control infected devices using image files injected with malware.

Security plays a big part in the services provided for businesses by professional content marketing firms, and the latest announcement will no doubt be of interest.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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