White hats devote countless hours and intense brain power to discovering security holes in popular apps and platforms. By flushing these bugs out into public light, they compel the good guys to fix the flaws before the bad guys can discover them first, and take advantage.
Microsoft and Facebook announced last week that they will begin paying bounties to ethical hackers for discovering vulnerabilities, not just in their own products, but in software systems that make up the Internet infrastructure.
Google and Facebook have spent millions the past few years paying hackers “bug bounties” to point out fresh flaws, known as zero-day vulnerabilities, in their respective products. Microsoft and Facebook will support a panel of experts assigned to issue awards of $5,000 or even more to hackers who flush out serious vulnerabilities in the system of development tools and Web server operating systems that make up the Internet.