Google Online Security Blog: Vulnerability Reward Program: 2023 Year in Review

Google Online Security Blog: Vulnerability Reward Program: 2023 Year in Review

Last 12 months, we once more witnessed the facility of community-driven safety efforts as researchers from all over the world contributed to assist us establish and handle hundreds of vulnerabilities in our services and products. Working with our devoted bug hunter neighborhood, we awarded $10 million to our 600+ researchers based mostly in 68 international locations.

New Resources and Improvements

Just like yearly, 2023 introduced a collection of adjustments and enhancements to our vulnerability reward applications:

  • Through our new Bonus Awards program, we now periodically provide time-limited, further rewards for stories to particular VRP targets.
  • We expanded our exploit reward program to Chrome and Cloud by way of the launch of v8CTF, a CTF targeted on V8, the JavaScript engine that powers Chrome.
  • We launched Mobile VRP which focuses on first-party Android purposes.
  • Our new Bughunters weblog shared methods during which we make the web, as a complete, safer, and what that journey entails. Take a have a look at our ever-growing repository of posts!
  • To additional our engagement with prime safety researchers, we additionally hosted our yearly safety convention ESCAL8 in Tokyo. It included reside hacking occasions and competitions, pupil coaching with our init.g workshops, and talks from researchers and Googlers. Stay tuned for particulars on ESCAL8 2024.

As in previous years, we’re sharing our 2023 Year in Review statistics throughout all of our applications. We want to give a particular thanks to all of our devoted researchers for his or her continued work with our applications – we look ahead to extra collaboration sooner or later!

Android and Google Devices

In 2023, the Android VRP achieved important milestones, reflecting our dedication to securing the Android ecosystem. We awarded over $3.4 million in rewards to researchers who uncovered outstanding vulnerabilities inside Android and increased our most reward quantity to $15,000 for important vulnerabilities. We additionally noticed a sharpened deal with increased severity points on account of our adjustments to incentivize report high quality and rising rewards for prime and significant severity points.

Expanding our program’s scope, Wear OS has been added to this system to additional incentivize analysis in new wearable know-how to make sure customers’ security.

Working carefully with prime researchers on the ESCAL8 convention, we additionally hosted a reside hacking occasion for Wear OS and Android Automotive OS which resulted in $70,000 rewarded to researchers for locating over 20 important vulnerabilities!

We would additionally prefer to highlight the safety conferences. gave us a platform to have interaction with prime {hardware} safety researchers who uncovered over 50 vulnerabilities in Nest, Fitbit, and Wearables, and acquired a complete of $116,000 final 12 months!

The Google Play Security Reward Program continued to foster safety analysis throughout standard Android apps on Google Play.

An enormous thanks to the researchers who made our program so successful. A particular shout out to Zinuo Han (@ele7enxxh) of OPPO Amber Security Lab and Yu-Cheng Lin (林禹成) (@AndroBugs) to your arduous work and persevering with to be among the prime researchers contributing to Android VRPs!


2023 was a 12 months of adjustments and experimentation for the Chrome VRP. In Chrome Milestone 116, MiraclePtr was launched throughout all Chrome platforms. This resulted in elevating the issue of discovery of totally exploitable non-renderer UAFs in Chrome and resulted in decrease reward quantities for MiraclePtr-protected UAFs, as extremely mitigated safety bugs. While code and points protected by MiraclePtr are anticipated to be resilient to the exploitation of non-renderer UAFs, the Chrome VRP launched the MiraclePtr Bypass Reward to incentivize analysis towards discovering potential bypasses of this safety.

The Chrome VRP additionally launched the Full Chain Exploit Bonus, providing triple the usual full reward quantity for the primary Chrome full-chain exploit reported and double the usual full reward quantity for any follow-up stories. While each of those giant incentives have gone unclaimed, we’re leaving the door open in 2024 for any researchers trying to tackle these challenges.

In 2023, Chrome VRP additionally launched elevated rewards for V8 bugs in older channels of Chrome, with an extra bonus for bugs current earlier than M105. This resulted in just a few very impactful stories of long-existing V8 bugs, together with one report of a V8 JIT optimization bug in Chrome since not less than M91, which resulted in a $30,000 reward for that researcher.

All of this resulted in $2.1M in rewards to safety researchers for 359 distinctive stories of Chrome Browser safety bugs. We had been additionally in a position to meet a few of our prime researchers from earlier years who had been invited to take part in bugSWAT as a part of Google’s ESCAL8 occasion in Tokyo in October. We capped off the 12 months by publicly announcing our 2023 Top 20 Chrome VRP reporters who acquired a bonus reward for his or her contributions.

Thank you to the Chrome VRP safety researcher neighborhood to your contributions and efforts to assist us make Chrome safer for everybody!

Generative AI

Last 12 months, we additionally ran a bugSWAT live-hacking occasion focusing on LLM merchandise. Apart from enjoyable, solar, and loads to do, we additionally bought 35 stories, totaling greater than $87,000 – and found points like Johann, Joseph, and Kai’s “Hacking Google Bard – From Prompt Injection to Data Exfiltration” and Roni, Justin, and Joseph’s “We Hacked Google A.I. for $50,000”.

To assist AI-focused bughunters know what’s in scope and what’s not, we not too long ago printed our standards for bugs in AI merchandise. This standards goals to facilitate testing for conventional safety vulnerabilities in addition to dangers particular to AI techniques, and is a method that we’re implementing the voluntary AI commitments that Google made on the White House in July.

Looking Forward

We stay dedicated to fostering collaboration, innovation, and transparency with the safety neighborhood. Our ongoing mission is to remain forward of rising threats, adapt to evolving applied sciences, and proceed to strengthen the safety posture of Google’s services and products. We look ahead to persevering with to drive better developments on this planet of cybersecurity.

An enormous thanks to our bug hunter neighborhood for serving to to make Google merchandise and platforms extra secure and safe for our customers all over the world!

Thank you to Adam Bacchus, Dirk Göhmann, Eduardo Vela, Sarah Jacobus, Amy Ressler, Martin Straka, Jan Keller, Tony Mendez.


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