Google paid out millions in bug bounties last year

Mountain View Headquarters
(Image credit: Google)

Finding bugs in Google's products was quite a lucrative business last year as the search giant has revealed that it paid out $6.5m to 461 different security researchers.

Last year's payout was almost double the $3.4m the company paid out in 2018 and since starting its bug bounty program in 2010, Google has paid out over $21m to those who discovered flaws in its software.

More and more companies have instituted their own bug bounty programs as it is much cheaper to pay security researchers and white hackers to find flaws than it is to deal with a major data or security breach later on. 

These programs also encourage individuals who do discover flaws to disclose them properly as opposed to using them maliciously or selling them to others that will.

Bug bounty program

Of the $6.5m Google paid out in bug bounties last year, $800k went to Google Play, $1m went to Chrome, $1.9m went to Android and $2.1m went to the company's other products.

Security researchers who received payment for finding flaws in the company's products also donated an all-time-high of $507k to charity last year which is five times the amount ever previously donated in a single year.

Since Google started its bug bounty program, it has continued to grow though the past few years have all seen payouts of around $3m. The fact that the amount paid out almost doubled this year shows that the program has been quite successful at helping the company fix flaws in its software.

Google's security team continued to expand the program last year and the company even raised the top reward for finding flaws in Android to $1m.

Via VentureBeat

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.