Security is one of the hot topics for online devices, Google has been quite vocal with their quest to find, and plug, any security holes in Android, Chrome and many more of their products using bug bounties. Now Samsung has joined in, launching a Mobile Security Rewards program.
The rewards program is an extension of a pilot program that Samsung launched in January, broadening now to become more open. There is big money on the line too, with up to $200,000 on offer if you find a qualifying bug to report. The Mobile Security Rewards program is targeting Samsung phones (obviously), but only the 38 Samsung models currently receiving security or feature updates. The list includes tablets and phones:
- Galaxy S series (S8, S8+, S8 Active, S7, S7 edge, S7 Active, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge, S6 Active)
- Galaxy Note series (Note 8, Note FE, Note 5, Note 4, Note edge)
- Galaxy A series (A3 (2016), A3 (2017), A5 (2016), A5 (2017), A7 (2017))
- Galaxy J series (J1 (2016), J1 Mini, J1 Mini Prime, J1 Ace, J2 (2016), J3 (2016), J3 (2017), J3 Pro, J3 Pop, J5 (2016), J5 (2017), J7 (2016), J7 (2017), J7 Max, J7 Neo, J7 Pop)
- Galaxy Tab series (Tab S2 L Refresh, Tab S3 9.7)
As you’d expect with big money on the line, there are a few conditions. The terms and conditions page lists them all, but they run along the lines of: the bug being reported has to be up to date, so must be on the latest firmware and you can’t use a physical connection or 3rd party computer – and you have to keep any bugs you find quiet until Samsung issues a fix.
This is a pretty decent step by Samsung, they are the number one shipper of phones in the world so it’s good to see them taking this step. How it actually goes long term will be the key, so we’ll be watching.