In the past several years, bug bounties have evolved from the open-to-everyone contests they once were, becoming more nuanced with the ability to meet various organizational goals and objectives. While some reasons for starting a bug bounty program may be more obvious than others, there are multiple business goals or drivers that organizations, including your own, may identify when looking into launching a bug bounty program.
Topic: Program Management
Earlier today we joined Jake Kouns, CISO of Risk Based Security, and Christine Gadsby, Director of Product Security at BlackBerry for a guest webcast. They gave their Black Hat 2016 talk ‘OSS Security Maturity: Time to Put on Your Big Boy Pants’ which analyzes the real risks of using OSS and the best way to manage its use within your organization.
In continuing our series on building a bounty brief, we’ve already covered step 0, creating a scope, and also touched briefly on focus areas. Now that you have the foundation of what you want researchers to be testing, it’s now time to turn your attention to what you don’t want them to be testing – which is just as, if not more important, as clearly stating what you do want to be tested. We do this by explicitly noting and drawing the researcher’s attention to our exclusions.
Why is it so important? Simply put, it’s a matter of respecting researchers’ time and effort. If we take a moment to look at this from a researcher’s point of view, every issue that we clearly exclude on the bounty brief is something they won’t/don’t need waste their time testing for and/or reporting. A brief that doesn’t contain explicit exclusions runs the risk of receiving issues that the program owner may not care for – resulting in wasting the time and resources of both the researcher and the program owner. To clearly document these exclusions, we’ve identified five of the most common categories to consider for exclusions when building your program: low impact issues, intended functionality, known issues, accepted risks, and issues resulting from pivoting.
We recently published a comprehensive but abbreviated guide ‘Anatomy of a Bounty Brief’ which explores each part of a bounty program brief and how organizations can write them more clearly and thoughtfully.
Once you’ve identified that you and your organization are ready to commit the necessary time and resources to running a bug bounty program, it’s time to start building out your program brief – the first step of which, is setting the program scope.
Posted originally on by Stuart Hirst on Skyskanner’s Code Voyager Blog
Skyscanner has a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. For our IT security function, the ‘Security Squad’, it is no different. External security testing had previously taken the form of standard penetration testing, which brought considerable value and helped improve security posture. However, our Squad wanted to look at new ways of testing the products that we help secure on a daily basis. In early 2015, we began to investigate the possibility of a crowd-sourced testing mechanism.