Microsoft Gives Hacker $100,000 For Finding Security Holes

Expert's discovery nets him top payout

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It’s a battle of good against evil in the software security world, and Microsoft wants the good guys to win. The company has paid a hacker in Australia a $100,000 reward for identifying security bugs in its Windows operating system.

The bounty, won by Melbourne-based consultant James Forshaw, is among the largest amounts paid by a technology company to a hacking expert for such finds. Forshaw, who is known for identifying dozens of software security holes for big tech companies, said that he was drawn to the “intellectual puzzle” of finding new attack techniques.

Microsoft launched the rewards programs four months ago, using benevolent hackers known as “white hats” to prevent sophisticated attackers from subverting new security technologies in its software. The company said Forshaw’s latest find will help them to develop defenses against entire classes of attacks.