DARK WEB GATEKEEPER AND PRIVACY ENABLER the Tor Project is taking a leaf out of the rest of the industry's book and offering security researchers prizes for bringing weaknesses to its attention.
All eyes are on Tor already. The privacy-aware browser is already a hot topic at the National Security Agency (NSA), and has a price on its head in Russia. With such attention, it makes sense that the outfit would seek to get ahead of the game.
The cash incentive was announced during the firm's State of the Onion address at the Chaos Communication Congress event in Germany, according to a report on the Motherboard website.
"We are grateful to the people who have looked over our code over the years, but the only way to continue to improve is to get more people involved," Nick Mathewson, co-founder, researcher and chief architect of the Tor Project, told Motherboard.
Supporting the programme is the Open Technology Fund and a professional bug bounty outfit called HackerOne. Both have confirmed their involvement, at least by tweeting links to the Motherboard article.
Details about the programme are limited, it seems, to the Motherboard report, although we have asked involved parties to comment. Motherboard said that the bounty offer will be limited at first and that just a select bunch of hackers will be offered a dip in the pot.
"This programme will encourage people to look at our code, find flaws in it, and help us to improve it," explained Mathewson.
This is not the first time that a price has been put on Tor problems. In 2014 the Russian government announced a £65,000 prize to anyone clever enough to crack the network, and share the details.
Closer to home, GCHQ and the NSA are keen on access to the system. µ
Plus the cost of ambition as moonshots eat into the coffers
Spoiler alert: it's probably VeriSign
Did we say cuts off? We meant traps them inside their own home