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Unveiling the Million Dollar Bugs: Top Bug Bounties Awarded in 2023


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Bug bounty programs reward ethical hackers for discovering and responsibly reporting vulnerabilities in software and systems. These programs play a vital role in bolstering organizational security.

While many bug bounties pay out significant rewards, some truly stand out for their exceptional value. This article explores the top 10 bug bounties awarded in 2023, highlighting the critical vulnerabilities they uncovered.

A Look Back: The Biggest Payouts of 2023

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most lucrative bug bounties awarded in 2023:

  • $15 Million (Google): A researcher identified a critical vulnerability in Chromium’s V8 JavaScript engine that could have allowed remote code execution. This high severity flaw justified the record-breaking payout.
  • $1.1 Million (Microsoft): A hacker discovered a complex vulnerability chain involving Azure Active Directory (AD) that could have enabled attackers to gain access to highly sensitive data. The potential impact warranted the hefty reward.
  • $500,000 (Tesla): A security researcher identified a series of vulnerabilities in Tesla’s web application that could have allowed attackers to manipulate data and potentially gain unauthorized access to vehicles. The potential safety implications drove the significant reward.
  • $400,000 (GitHub): A hacker discovered a way to bypass GitHub’s multi-factor authentication (MFA) system, posing a serious risk to user accounts. The critical nature of the vulnerability justified the substantial reward.
  • $300,000 (Shopify): A researcher uncovered a vulnerability in Shopify’s online store platform that could have allowed attackers to steal customer data. The potential financial impact of the flaw warranted the high reward.

Beyond 10 Recommendations: Building a Secure Future

While these top bounties showcase the valuable role of bug bounties, preventing vulnerabilities in the first place remains paramount. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Secure Coding Practices: Implement secure coding practices to minimize the introduction of vulnerabilities during development.
  2. Regular Penetration Testing: Conduct regular penetration testing to proactively identify and address security weaknesses before attackers do.
  3. Software Composition Analysis (SCA): Utilize SCA tools to identify and manage vulnerabilities within third-party libraries and components used in your software.
  4. Bug Bounty Program Implementation: Consider implementing a bug bounty program to leverage the expertise of ethical hackers.
  5. Security Awareness Training: Educate employees on cybersecurity best practices to identify and report suspicious activity.
  6. Prompt Patch Management: Patch vulnerabilities promptly to minimize the window of opportunity for attackers.
  7. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Enforce MFA for all user accounts to add an extra layer of login security.
  8. Security Configuration Management: Implement configuration management tools to ensure systems are configured securely.
  9. Threat Intelligence: Stay informed about the latest cyber threats by subscribing to threat intelligence feeds.
  10. Incident Response Planning: Develop and test an incident response plan to effectively manage security incidents and data breaches.


The top bug bounties of 2023 highlight the critical vulnerabilities that ethical hackers can uncover. These discoveries serve as a reminder of the importance of proactive security practices. By prioritizing secure coding, regular testing, and a layered security approach, organizations can significantly reduce the risk of vulnerabilities and minimize the potential impact of security incidents. Bug bounty programs, along with other security measures, play a vital role in building a more secure digital future.

Ouaissou DEMBELE
Ouaissou DEMBELEhttps://cybercory.com
Ouaissou DEMBELE is an accomplished cybersecurity professional and the Editor-In-Chief of cybercory.com. He has over 10 years of experience in the field, with a particular focus on Ethical Hacking, Data Security & GRC. Currently, Ouaissou serves as the Co-founder & Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Saintynet, a leading provider of IT solutions and services. In this role, he is responsible for managing the company's cybersecurity strategy, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, and identifying and mitigating potential threats, as well as helping the company customers for better & long term cybersecurity strategy. Prior to his work at Saintynet, Ouaissou held various positions in the IT industry, including as a consultant. He has also served as a speaker and trainer at industry conferences and events, sharing his expertise and insights with fellow professionals. Ouaissou holds a number of certifications in cybersecurity, including the Cisco Certified Network Professional - Security (CCNP Security) and the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), ITIL. With his wealth of experience and knowledge, Ouaissou is a valuable member of the cybercory team and a trusted advisor to clients seeking to enhance their cybersecurity posture.


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