Google paid out a record amount of cash to amateur researchers in 2019 as part of the tech company’s reward program for finding bugs and vulnerabilities in Google software.
The Google Vulnerability Reward Program rewarded a record $6.5 million to researchers in 2019 who found vulnerabilities in Google software products like Chrome and Android. That’s nearly double last year’s payout of $3.4 million and is expected to continue growing as Google’s suite of software products grows in the coming years. In total, 461 researchers were paid by Google’s program in 2019, with the highest individual reward of $201,000 going to a researcher who found a potential major exploit in the Google Pixel 3.
The program was founded in 2010 and has only grown larger over the years. As part of the program, researchers can choose to donate some of their reward to charitable causes. A record $507,000 was donated in 2019 from researchers who found vulnerabilities, which is more than five times the amount that has ever been donated before from the program.