Microsoft ups hacker offer, pays USD100,000 for Windows 8.1 bypass

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Oct 09, 2013 12:40 PM EDT

A report from information and technology news site VentureBeat said a James Forshaw had received a USD100,000 prize from Microsoft Corp for finding a way to bypass security measures of Windows 8.1 operating software. The prize money was fairly bigger than the T-shirts and up to USD15,000 worth of incentives security researchers received from Yahoo after discovering security holes in its network.

On the other hand, VentureBeat said Microsoft's bug bounty program had said much on how the tech giant was serious about security. It had paid more than USD128,000 in prizes, of which USD109,400 in total were awarded to Forshaw. Microsoft would also be paying up to USD50,000 as bonus for software defense vulnerability submissions.

Microsoft senior security strategist Katie Moussouris said, "The reason we pay so much more for a new attack technique versus for an individual bug is that learning about new mitigation bypass techniques helps us develop defenses against entire classes of attack. This knowledge helps us make individual vulnerabilities less useful when attackers try to use them against customers. When we strengthen the platform-wide mitigations, we make it harder to exploit bugs in all software that runs on our platform, not just Microsoft applications."

Microsoft's fourth quarter revenue missed Wall Street expectations by reporting USD19.9 billion and a USD0.59 earnings per share. It had also listed a USD900 million writedown in Surface RT inventory adjustments.

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