Google has introduced its new Google Play Security Reward Program, as a way to “incentivise security research” into Android apps that are downloaded from Google Play. Under the program, independent security researchers and developers will be able to submit vulnerabilities in existing Android apps, to Google. The company will evaluate these submissions and pay $1000 to the researcher who found the vulnerability.
According to Google, the program is currently limited to “remote-code-execution” vulnerabilities. RCE vulnerabilities are those that allow attackers to run code on a smartphone without users knowing or permitting the same. The company has tied up with bug bounty platform HackerOne, to enable researchers to submit vulnerabilities.
Further, the company says vulnerabilities will first need to be reported to the app developer in question. The Play Security Rewards program will only entertain issues that have already been resolved by the developer. Also, only issues that have been fixed within a 90 day period will qualify for the rewards.
The Google Play Security Reward program seems to have a pretty wide scope as well. “All Google-developed Android apps available on Google Play are in scope,” says Google. However, it urges researchers to report vulnerabilities in Google apps to the Google Vulnerability Program or the Chrome Reward Program.