PlayStation recently announced that they are starting their own ‘Bug Bounty Program’. This move is in an effort to improve the security of their products and then provide the users with a better experience.
An initiative like ‘Bug Bounty Programs’ makes a lot of sense. A company can’t be immaculate with its security all the time. These programs encourage ‘ethical hackers’ to help the company to get rid of any pesky bugs its team may have missed and strengthen its security to fend off cyber-attacks.
Geoff Norton, Senior Director of Engineering at Sony Interactive Entertainment writes
“We believe that through working with the security research community we can deliver a safer place to play. We have partnered with HackerOne to help run this program, and we are inviting the security research community, gamers, and anyone else to test the security of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Network. Our bug bounty program has rewards for various issues, including critical issues on PS4. Critical vulnerabilities for PS4 have bounties starting at $50,000.“
He also mentioned that Sony has been conducting their bug bounty program in private with some researchers but are now approaching the general public to assist them with the same.
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Why is it necessary for Playstation & Sony?
As mentioned earlier, it is not possible for any company to be spot on with every single security aspect. A minor flaw successfully surviving all testing could cost them millions and the damage done could be beyond repair.
Yahoo! suffered its worst cyber-attack back in 2014 where around 500 million user accounts were affected. They were attacked for a second time in the same year, which was a little less grave. In 2018, the company admitted that all of its 3 billion user accounts were hacked.
Companies such as Adobe, Target, Marriott Hotels, and even Sony have been victims of cyberattacks. Such attacks damage the reputation of the company beyond measure but it is possible to prevent them.
Sony is not the first company to have gone public with its bug bounty program. This has existed in the industry for years.
Tech Giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook all have their own Bug Bounty Programs. Apple rewards bug finders where the bounty can go up to $200,000, depending on the severity. Google pays you anything between $100-$20,000. Facebook has reportedly rewarded 900 ethical hackers over $5 million since the start of its program.
Even government organizations like the Pentagon use these kinds of programs to scale their security.
This is a great move by Sony to improve the security of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Network.
I love to play games of all kinds. You can usually find me casually teaming up with my squad to play the most random games ever. Oh, and I also manage to write about those sometimes