Intel pledges $250,000 to bug bounty hunts

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Intel is kicking off a new bounty hunting program looking to track down vulnerabilities similar to Spectre and Meltdown

Those that succeed are looking at a reward of $250,000, but in a blog post released Wednesday, Intel revealed that the bounty program is no longer invite-only, but is instead being made public.

“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,” Intel’s Rick Echevarria, vice president and general manager of platform security, said in the blog post.

Spectre and Meltdown are chip vulnerabilities spotted in early January, and which were uncovered to be affecting virtually every computing machine in existence today. That includes smartphones, computers, servers, tablets. An attack through these vulnerabilities could cause victims to lose personal data.

All of the biggest chip manufacturers, including ARM, Intel and Qualcomm, to name a few, have rushed to get a patch out and protect their users, but the patching process only added salt to the open wound. Some patches were bricking machines, sending them to a constant reboot loop, while others were significantly slowing down the machines' performance.

Some manufacturers are even facing class-action lawsuits over the vulnerabilities.

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