Intel opens up and raises rewards for bug bounty program

Intel boosts bug bounty program in wake of Meltdown and Spectre flaws

Intel boosts bug bounty program in wake of Meltdown and Spectre flaws

The other big change is that Intel has opened a new program for reporting side channel vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown that are rooted in its hardware and exploitable through software.

Offering a new program focused specifically on side channel vulnerabilities through December 31, 2018.

Intel has been operating its Bug Bounty Program for almost a year now, with the program originally launching back in March 2017.

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Spectre and Meltdown are chip vulnerabilities spotted in early January, and which were uncovered to be affecting virtually every computing machine in existence today.

Following the discovery and public disclosure of the still-largely-unpatched Spectre and Meltdown speculative execution vulnerabilities - deliberate design choices made in most modern processors to boost performance but which turn out to be vulnerable to attack, allowing ne'er-do-wells unfettered read access to protected regions of memory - Intel has pledged a renewed focus on the security of its products.

Intel may get more than what it bargained for in terms of what security researchers will be able to find.

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"We believe these changes will enable us to more broadly engage the security research community, and provide better incentives for coordinated response and disclosure that help protect our customers and their data", Echevarria said in his blog post. Intel and operating system vendors have released several patches to mitigate the effects of those vulnerabilities, but there's little doubt sophisticated malicious hackers are racing to find new ways to take advantage of the design flaws. Intel is also raising up all bounty awards, with up to $100,000 rewards for researchers discovering critical vulnerabilities in Intel hardware.

While the fervor surrounding the vulnerabilities has subsided, Intel has a reputation to try and fix. Intel also promised to further evolve the program to more effectively fulfill its security-first pledge. 'Thank you, in advance, to all of those across the industry who choose to participate.

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