Hacking gets a bad rap, mostly because people tend to focus on those out to do harm. But there are many so-called "white hat" hackers who try to uncover vulnerabilities. Many of today’s biggest tech and media firms have launched “bug bounty” programs offering to pay these hackers -- or anyone -- big bucks to report vulnerabilities in their systems.
With bug bounties becoming so mainstream, companies are emerging dedicated to finding these flaws. Startup HackerOne checks for bugs in companies’ operations, and in February, it announced a $40 million series C funding round.
Companies outside of tech have also launched their own bug bounty programs. In 2016, the U.S. Army launched its program, “Hack the Army,” and companies such as Starbucks and GM have also made it a part of their operations.
"Bug bounty are now an essential part of the software life cycle," HackerOne’s CEO Marten Mickos told Fortune.
In January, Facebook awarded its biggest bounty yet -- $40,000 to a security researcher who discovered a glitch in its photo editing software, ImageMagick. In October 2016, the company posted to Facebook that it had paid out more than $5 million in bug bounties over the past five years.
Check out the biggest bounties that hackers have collected from some of the leading names in tech.