Bug bounty industry, helped by federal business, is growing up fast

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The bug bounty industry — which basically hires and sells the services of freelance hackers who are paid to find weaknesses in systems or products — is seeing a period of rapid growth, in part because of early successes in the federal market.

Chris Bing of Cyberscoop takes a close look at the leaders of the three companies that are making the most noise in the niche industry: Bugcrowd, HackerOne and Synack. All three firms boast platforms that privately funnel information about software and hardware bugs to their customers so that affected parties can fix software flaws.

Over the last year, the three companies have each expanded in size and influence due to private investors betting big. Significant contracts with the Defense Department, General Services Administration, U.S. Air Force and Army, quickly popularized the disruptive industry, even though the premier brands are still in many ways developing their business strategies and identities.

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bug bounty, Bugcrowd, HackerOne, Synack, vulnerability disclosure