James Forshaw must be a happy man. The 34-year-old security researcher who lives in London has been paid $100,000 (£63,000) for discovering a way to get around the built-in defenses in the preview version of Windows 8.1, the Guardian reports.
The news comes little more than a week ahead of the final release of Windows 8.1 on October 18. This is the first time Microsoft has paid out such a huge amount since it was included in the list of Microsoft Security Bounty programs on June 26.
Forshaw’s exploit, which took about two weeks to develop, will make Windows 8.1 more secure. Katie Moussouris, Microsoft’s senior security strategist, told the Guardian the reason why Microsoft is paying so much for this new attack technique is because it helps the firm develop defenses against entire classes of attack, instead of simply squashing an existing bug. “When we strengthen the platform-wide mitigations, we make it harder to exploit bugs in all software that runs on our platform, not just Microsoft applications,” she says.
We’re just happy that Forshaw was looking for exploits in Windows and not Yahoo Mail.
Meanwhile, if you want to get rich quick, here’s a handy list of bug bounty programs.