Greetings fellow bounty hunters! If you are looking for tips, tricks, insights, or otherwise helpful information related to the wonderful world of bounty-hunting with Bugcrowd you have come to the right place! My name is “ZwinK”, and I started bounty hunting 6 months ago with Bugcrowd. Hacking only part-time, I’ve made over $100,000 since January, and so can you! 

Without delay, I present the first tip which helped me succeed in doing this hacking thing. 

Tip #1: Bugcrowd as an MMORPG (real-life video game)

I’m no psychologist, but I do know that staying relaxed, calm, chill, and at peace is not only good for you but helps your mind stay clear. If you have seen the movie “Swordfish” where a hacker has to do something fast under pressure “or else”, I submit to you that a rushed mindset is unlikely to succeed in the real world. Kick your feet up, put on your pajamas, get a cup of coffee, grab a lap dog, and chill. This is a new kind of video game.

Primarily, I think you should be bounty hunting for fun, entertainment, or education; and secondarily (at best) for money, rewards, or rank increases. If you start feeling frustrated, under pressure, agitated, angry, or anything related – you should walk away and take a break. 

I understand the hacker motto seems to be “Try Harder”, but it should be “Try Smarter”. 

Trying harder has little to do with hacking; thinking smarter, or outside of the box does. You could try harder to lift a 5000 lb boulder with your bare hands, but it’s not going to happen. Instead, using your brain, rig up a system of pulleys, rent a tractor, or blow up that boulder with TNT*. In video games, players tend to plateau at a specific skill level, with few increases or improvements. This bounty game is no different, you need to play to your intellectual strengths and take the time to get better. 

*Bugcrowd does not endorse using TNT to blow up boulders.

In MMOs, you level up.  

At Bugcrowd, you rank up.  

In MMOs, you get gear drops and loot.  

At Bugcrowd, you receive real-world money.  

In MMOs, when you get a higher level, you are eligible to play in different raids/dungeons/areas.  

At Bugcrowd, as you rank up and log more (better quality) bugs, you get private invites and access to more lucrative or newer programs.

In video games, you can’t expect your character to hit the max level on day one. The same can be said for bug bounty. You should set realistic expectations for yourself in terms of rank, rewards, or vulnerabilities. Start with achievable goals at first to get some momentum. Set a goal to make $100 your first month. 

It’s going to take time to get to level 100, so be kind to yourself!

About the Author

I first signed into the Bugcrowd platform in late October 2020 to see what it was all about. I was a fresh, 0-points, 188,000 ranked, super-n00b with absolutely no idea what I was doing. I saw brightly colored buttons, criticality ratings, company logos, dollar signs, and leaderboards… it was a whole new world. I was pretty sure this was actually a video game disguised as work. A game where you make money hacking instead of slaying raid bosses to roll for gear drops. In some ways, I was not all that far off. I mean, it’s all a little shocking really – “What, I can just try to hack… uh… some company for money, and gain rank”? Indeed, this represents a departure from years ago when the only reward hackers may receive was a reduced prison sentence. Wow! How the world is changing!