It has been another incredible year for the Vulnerability Reward Programs (VRPs) at Google! Working with security researchers throughout 2022, we have been able to identify and fix over 2,900 security issues and continue to make our products more secure for our users around the world.
We are thrilled to see significant year-over-year growth for our VRPs, and have had yet another record-breaking year for our programs! In 2022 we awarded over $12 million in bounty rewards – with researchers donating over $230,000 to a charity of their choice.
As in past years, we are sharing our 2022 Year in Review statistics across all of our programs. We would like to give a special thank you to all of our dedicated researchers for their continued work with our programs – we look forward to more collaboration in the future!
Android and Devices
The Android VRP had an incredible record breaking year in 2022 with $4.8 million in rewards and the highest paid report in Google VRP history of $605,000!
In our continued effort to ensure the security of Google device users, we have expanded the scope of Android and Google Devices in our program and are now incentivizing vulnerability research in the latest versions of Google Nest and Fitbit! For more information on the latest program version and qualifying vulnerability reports, please visit our public rules page.
We are also excited to share that the invite-only Android Chipset Security Reward Program (ACSRP) – a private vulnerability reward program offered by Google in collaboration with manufacturers of Android chipsets – rewarded $486,000 in 2022 and received over 700 valid security reports.
We would like to give a special shoutout to some of our top researchers, whose continued hard work helps to keep Android safe and secure:
- Submitting an impressive 200+ vulnerabilities to the Android VRP this year, Aman Pandey of Bugsmirror remains one of our program’s top researchers. Since submitting their first report in 2019, Aman has reported more than 500 vulnerabilities to the program. Their hard work helps ensure the safety of our users; a huge thank you for all of their hard work!
- Zinuo Han of OPPO Amber Security Lab quickly rose through our program’s ranks, becoming one of our top researchers. In the last year they have identified 150 valid vulnerabilities in Android.
- Finding yet another critical exploit chain, gzobqq submitted our highest valued exploit to date.
- Yu-Cheng Lin (林禹成) (@AndroBugs) remains one of our top researchers submitting just under 100 reports this year.
Chrome VRP had another unparalleled year, receiving 470 valid and unique security bug reports, resulting in a total of $4 million of VRP rewards. Of the $4M, $3.5 million was rewarded to researchers for 363 reports of security bugs in Chrome Browser and nearly $500,000 was rewarded for 110 reports of security bugs in ChromeOS.
This year, Chrome VRP re-evaluated and refactored the Chrome VRP reward amounts to increase the reward amounts for the most exploitable and harmful classes and types of security bugs, as well as added a new category for memory corruption bugs in highly privileged processes, such as the GPU and network process, to incentivize research in these critical areas. The Chrome VRP increased the fuzzer bonuses for reports from VRP-submitted fuzzers running on the Google ClusterFuzz infrastructure as part of the Chrome Fuzzing program. A new bisect bonus was introduced for bisections performed as part of the bug report submission, which helps the security team with our triage and bug reproduction.
2023 will be the year of experimentation in the Chrome VRP! Please keep a lookout for announcements of experiments and potential bonus opportunities for Chrome Browser and ChromeOS security bugs.
The entire Chrome team sincerely appreciates the contributions of all our researchers in 2022 who helped keep Chrome Browser, ChromeOS, and all the browsers and software based on Chromium secure for billions of users across the globe.
In addition to posting about our Top 0-22 Researchers in 2022, Chrome VRP would like to specifically acknowledge some specific researcher achievements made in 2022:
- Rory McNamara, a six-year participant in Chrome VRP as a ChromeOS researcher, became the highest rewarded researcher of all time in the Chrome VRP. Most impressive is that Rory has achieved this in a total of only 40 security bug submissions, demonstrating just how impactful his findings have been – from ChromeOS persistent root command execution, resulting in a $75,000 reward back in 2018, to his many reports of root privilege escalation both with and without persistence. Rory was also kind enough to speak at the Chrome Security Summit in 2022 to share his experiences participating in the Chrome VRP over the years. Thank you, Rory!
- SeongHwan Park (SeHwa), a participant in the Chrome VRP since mid-2021, has been an amazing contributor of ANGLE / GPU security bug reports in 2022 with 11 solid quality reports of GPU bugs earning them a spot on Chrome VRP 2022 top researchers list. Thank you, SeHwa!
Securing Open Source
Recognizing the fact that Google is one of the largest contributors and users of open source in the world, in August 2022 we launched OSS VRP to reward vulnerabilities in Google’s open source projects – covering supply chain issues of our packages, and vulnerabilities that may occur in end products using our OSS. Since then, over 100 bughunters have participated in the program and were rewarded over $110,000.
We’re pleased to announce that in 2022, we’ve made the learning opportunities for bug hunters available at our Bug Hunter University (BHU) more diverse and accessible. In addition to our existing collections of articles, which support improving your reports and avoiding invalid reports, we’ve made more than 20 instructional videos available. Clocking in at around 10 minutes each, these videos cover the most relevant learning topics and trends we’ve observed over the past years.
To make this happen, we teamed up with some of your favorite and best-known security researchers from around the globe, including LiveOverflow, PwnFunction, stacksmashing, InsiderPhD, PinkDraconian, and many more!
If you’re tired of reading our articles, or simply curious and looking for an alternative way to expand your bug hunting skills, these videos are for you. Check out our overview, or hop right in to the BHU YouTube playlist. Happy watching & learning!
2022 was a year of change for the Google Play Security Reward Program. In May we onboarded both new teammates and some old friends to triage and lead GPSRP. We also sponsored NahamCon ‘22, BountyCon in Singapore, and NahamCon Europe’s online event. In 2023 we hope to continue to grow the program with new bug hunters and partner on more events focused on Android & Google Play apps.
In 2022 we continued our Vulnerability Research Grant program with success. We’ve awarded more than $250,000 in grants to over 170 security researchers. Last year we also piloted collaboration double VRP rewards for selected grants and are looking forward to expanding it even more in 2023.
If you are a Google VRP researcher and want to be considered for a Vulnerability Research Grant, make sure you opted in on your bughunters profile.
Without our incredible security researchers we wouldn’t be here sharing this amazing news today. Thank you again for your continued hard work!
Also, in case you haven’t seen Hacking Google yet, make sure to check out the “Bug Hunters” episode, featuring some of our very own super talented bug hunters.
Thank you again for helping to make Google, the Internet, and our users more safe and secure! Follow us on @GoogleVRP for other news and updates.
Thank you to Adam Bacchus, Dirk Göhmann, Eduardo Vela, Sarah Jacobus, Amy Ressler, Martin Straka, Jan Keller, Tony Mendez, Rishika Hooda, Medha Jain