Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


04:06 AM
Connect Directly

Have You Got the Winning Bug?

iDefense contest offers up to $12,000 for security bug plus exploit code

This time, email is the target: iDefense this week issued its latest quarterly vulnerability challenge to hackers, and this time it's looking for new remote code execution bugs in specific email clients and servers.

The contest focuses on the most popular email packages, including Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook Express, Sendmail SMTP daemon, and Microsoft Exchange Server.

iDefense's previous zero-day bug-hunting contest gave out awards for bugs in core Internet and intranet applications. (See iDefense Offers Bucks for New Bugs.) The email bug challenge offers between $8,000 and $12,000 -– the winning submission gets $8,000, plus another $1,000 to $4,000 for proof-of-concept exploit code, depending on the reliability and quality of the POC.

Critics say bug contests are more a marketing ploy, and don't always yield quality research, but iDefense contends that it practices responsible disclosure, and alerts both the affected vendor and its customers simultaneously of a new zero-day.

The vulnerability must be for the latest (and fully patched) version of the designated email products, must be remotely exploitable, and must execute code on the targeted email client or server. Social engineering is prohibited: "In the context of this challenge only, exploitation includes the act of exploiting an e-mail client by opening the e-mail message with the default handler," according to iDefense's rules.

The bugs have to be original and not disclosed anywhere previously, and can't use or be caused by any third-party software on the target email client or server. The deadline is before midnight EST on December 31.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • Mozilla
  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

    Recommended Reading:

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 7/2/2020
    Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
    Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
    DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
    Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Current Issue
    How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
    This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
    Flash Poll
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
    Apache Guacamole 1.1.0 and older may mishandle pointers involved inprocessing data received via RDP static virtual channels. If a userconnects to a malicious or compromised RDP server, a series ofspecially-crafted PDUs could result in memory corruption, possiblyallowing arbitrary code to be executed...
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
    A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition, Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM & Presence Service, and Cisco Unity Connection could allow an unauthenticated, remote attack...
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
    In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, when users run the command displayed in NGINX Controller user interface (UI) to fetch the agent installer, the server TLS certificate is not verified.
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
    In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the Neural Autonomic Transport System (NATS) messaging services in use by the NGINX Controller do not require any form of authentication, so any successful connection would be authorized.
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
    In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the NGINX Controller installer starts the download of Kubernetes packages from an HTTP URL On Debian/Ubuntu system.