New Android & Google Device Vulnerability Reward Program Initiatives (Google Online Security Blog)

As technology continues to advance, so do efforts by cybercriminals who look to exploit vulnerabilities in software and devices. This is why at Google and Android, security is a top priority, and we are constantly working to make our products more secure. One way we do this is through our Vulnerability Reward Programs (VRP), which incentivize security researchers to find and report vulnerabilities in our operating system and devices.

We are pleased to announce that we are implementing a new quality rating system for security vulnerability reports to encourage more security research in higher impact areas of our products and ensure the security of our users. This system will rate vulnerability reports as High, Medium, or Low quality based on the level of detail provided in the report. We believe that this new system will encourage researchers to provide more detailed reports, which will help us address reported issues more quickly and enable researchers to receive higher bounty rewards.

The highest quality and most critical vulnerabilities are now eligible for larger rewards of up to $15,000!

There are a few key elements we are looking for:

Accurate and detailed description: A report should clearly and accurately describe the vulnerability, including the device name and version. The description should be detailed enough to easily understand the issue and begin working on a fix.

Root cause analysis: A report should include a full root cause analysis that describes why the issue is occurring and what Android source code should be patched to fix it. This analysis should be thorough and provide enough information to understand the underlying cause of the vulnerability.

Proof-of-concept: A report should include a proof-of-concept that effectively demonstrates the vulnerability. This can include video recordings, debugger output, or other relevant information. The proof-of-concept should be of high quality and include the minimum amount of code possible to demonstrate the issue.

Reproducibility: A report should include a step-by-step explanation of how to reproduce the vulnerability on an eligible device running the latest version. This information should be clear and concise and should allow our engineers to easily reproduce the issue and begin working on a fix.

Evidence of reachability: Finally, a report should include evidence or analysis that demonstrates the type of issue and the level of access or execution achieved.

*Note: This criteria may change over time. For the most up to date information, please refer to our public rules page.

Additionally, starting March 15th, 2023, Android will no longer assign Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) to most moderate severity issues. CVEs will continue to be assigned to critical and high severity vulnerabilities.

We believe that incentivizing researchers to provide high-quality reports will benefit both the broader security community and our ability to take action. We look forward to continuing to work with researchers to make the Android ecosystem more secure.

If you would like more information on the Android & Google Device Vulnerability Reward Program, please visit our public rules page to learn more!