Taking a cue from Apple, Google and Microsoft, Samsung has brought a new bug bounty initiative called Mobile Security Rewards Program. The latest development covers a list of 38 mobile devices by the South Korean company with an ultimate aim to provide a secure experience.
Samsung is giving away a total of US$200,000 for identifying potential vulnerabilities in the eligible mobile devices that include the Galaxy S, Galaxy Note, Galaxy A, Galaxy J and Galaxy Tab series. Moreover, the recently launched Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 are well covered in the initiative that was piloted in January 2016.
"As part of our commitment to security, Samsung is proud to work in close partnership with the security community to ensure that all of our products are monitored closely and continually for any potential vulnerabilities," said Injong Rhee, executive vice president and head of R&D -- software and services of the mobile communications business, Samsung, in a statement.
Since October 2015, Samsung has been releasing security updates for its flagship devices on a monthly basis. The regular updates include various security fixes that Google brings to Android in addition to patches specifically to Samsung devices. However, vulnerabilities have often emerged on Android-based mobile devices.
Rewarding vulnerability assessments in mobile services
Apart from core bugs and issues, Samsung has extended the reward programme towards its mobile services. This means that security researchers can also submit vulnerability reports from Bixby, Samsung Account, Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass. Additionally, the company is set to reward security issues reported against third-party apps that are specific to its mobile devices, apps or services.
It is worth noting that vulnerabilities that are covered by other bug bounty programmes such as Android Rewards or Qualcomm Bug Bounty don't qualify for Samsung's initiative. Also, the company is not accepting reports submitted for a loophole exists in a third-party app that affects not only Samsung lineup also other Android devices.
Competition in researching vulnerabilities
In July, Microsoft launched a similar bug bounty initiative to reward up to US$250,000 for reporting security issues in Windows 10. Apple, Facebook and Google also have comparable programmes to make their offerings tougher for hackers.