Microsoft Offers Up To $100,000 To Hack Its Custom Linux OS

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  • The bug bounty program is part of a three-month research challenge that runs from 1st June until 31st August 
  • The challenge is focused on the Azure Sphere OS for which it had built a custom version of Linux

Tech giant Microsoft is offering hackers up to $100,000 if they can break the security of the company’s custom Linux OS. It had built a compact and custom version of Linux for its Azure Sphere OS last year. It is designed to run on specialized chips for its Internet of Things (IoT) platform. The OS has been purpose-built for this platform to enable that basic services and apps run isolated in a sandbox for security purposes.

Three-month research challenge

Sylvie Liu, a security program manager at Microsoft’s Security Response Centre said that the company will award up to $100,000 bounty for specific scenarios in the Azure Sphere Security. Microsoft wants hackers to test the security of the Azure Sphere OS. It will pay up to $100,000 if the Pluton security subsystem or Secure World sandbox is breached. The bug bounty program is part of a three-month research challenge that runs from 1st June until 31st August. 

The company said that the challenge is focused on the Azure Sphere OS itself, and not the underlying cloud portion that’s already eligible for Azure bounty program awards. The company is looking especially for a group of security researchers to try and break its Linux OS security. Azure Sphere was announced at last year’s Build developer conference.

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