Yahoo is not having very good run in the reputation department when it comes to user security. Researchers at High-Tech Bridge found a few bugs, and were not exactly impressed with Yahoo’s reward.
Swiss penetration testing firm High-Tech Bridge said it ran a “small experiment” with Yahoo to see how quickly the company reacted to vulnerability notifications.
Ilia Kolochenko, High-Tech Bridge CEO, says: “Paying several dollars per vulnerability is a bad joke and won’t motivate people to report security vulnerabilities to them, especially when such vulnerabilities can be easily sold on the black market for a much higher price. Nevertheless, money is not the only motivation of security researchers.”
The researchers said they found a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw in a Yahoo web property within 45 minutes. Yahoo’s security team responded within 24 hours, but reportedly did not offer a cash reward, claiming someone else had reported the flaw first.
Unperturbed, High-Tech researchers continued and found three more XSS vulnerabilities.
“Each of the discovered vulnerabilities allowed any @yahoo.com email account to be compromised simply by sending a specially crafted link to a logged-in Yahoo user and making him/her click on it,” the researchers said.
“Yahoo warmly thanked us for reporting the vulnerabilities and offered us… 12.50 USD (twelve dollars and fifty cents) reward per one vulnerability.
“Moreover, this sum was given as a discount code that can only be used in the Yahoo Company Store, which sell Yahoo’s corporate t-shirts, cups, pens and other accessories.
The company noted that Yahoo had since patched all four XSS vulnerabilities.