It seems that being a bit of a rogue can pay off at times as news broke this week of an online cryptocurrency hacker who was rewarded by receiving a sum of cash for finding vulnerabilities in Augur. For many years, the ethos towards hackers has been ‘if you can’t beat them, put them on the payroll’, and this is exactly what happened with the Augur bounty program.
It has been common knowledge throughout the crypto and e-commerce industry that some companies use hackers to find holes in their system so they can better defend themselves from potential fraud and hacks. Augur has embraced this ethos totally by rewarding a hacker who recently breached their platform.
Cryptocurrency hacker found critical issues with Augur
Some are commenting that it is a bold move that the decentralized oracle and prediction market platform, Augur, have announced the details of the security breach and vulnerabilities as many companies would have kept it a tightly-knit secret if possible.
Augur have rewarded a cryptocurrency hacker named only as ‘Edmund’ with USD 5,000 because he was the first to find critical vulnerabilities on the platform. In response to the vulnerabilities, Augur announced that a USD 200,000 big bounty was available that was geared to discovering potential technical holes in their system, which is planned to launch on July 9.
Edmund was the first hacker to find issues on the system and was rewarded appropriately. Although Augur received a diverse reaction from the public when it announced the bounty program, they have silenced the doubters by paying Edmund USD 5,000, which will encourage other hackers to follow suit.
Cryptocurrency theft on the rise
Apparently, Edmund found a weakness in the system where a miner could manipulate the gas-reporting bonds, which would make it too expensive for users who want to honestly create markets. The find is a very important one for Augur and totally confirms they were correct to initiate the bounty scheme.
Making the flaws common public knowledge might be seen as too much information that could be used against Augur, but in some ways, it might also create the opposite opinion that Augur is right on top of their security and are not afraid to go public about it. This might discourage cryptocurrency hackers in the future to even attempt to hack Augur.
This decision by Augur comes at a time when cryptocurrency crime is making big waves across the marketplace. Cryptocurrency theft is on the rise with three times more in the first half of 2018 than we saw in the entirety of 2017. A reported total of USD 761 million was allegedly stolen in the first 6-months of the year with loses that could reach USD 1.5 billion by the end of the year.
Although it might seem a bold move by Augur to offer a bounty scheme, it is definitely working out for them and placing them in a positive light that will hopefully have a knock-on effect to other platforms and exchanges who need to do more to deter the modern day cryptocurrency hacker.