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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology to offer a bug bounty

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April 26, 2016

We just learned today that MIT has joined a growing number of large organizations and agencies to offer a software bug bounty.

The new initiative is in an experimental phase and is open to current MIT students and affiliates, and includes a limited number of segments.

Those submitting critical bugs will have money dropped into various MIT accounts that can be spent around campus, and will get to keep their MIT Kerberos identity once they leave the ivory walls for the real world.

But researchers offering bugs will not receive a reward until the program leaves alpha testing and officially launches, MIT asserted.

Users must probe deep and cross-eyed for bugs to prevent reading, writing, or accessing private data, however.

"The MIT Bug Bounty program is an experimental initiative aiming to improve the university's online security and foster a community for students to research and test the limits of cyber security in a responsible fashion," the program organizers asserted.

"As to our appreciation in helping keep the community safe, we are offering rewards in 'TechCash' for the responsible disclosure of severe vulnerabilities," it added.

Hackable sites include MIT's student portal, Atlas, and learning-modules.mit.edu properties. Bugs including remote code execution, SQL Injection, and cross-site scripting qualify for the free lunch.

It follows the U.S. Department of Defence with its Hack the Pentagon challenge. It is expected that more similar initiatives will launch soon with the same ambitions. We'll keep you posted.

Source: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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