What is Bug Bounty?
A Bug bounty program is a security program provided by the organization to allow security researchers to test and report vulnerabilities in their software, website, or other digital assets. And if anything is found researcher will get a Bounty or reward from the organization. This is called the Bug Bounty program
A person who is interested in the cyber security field can easily start their career in Bug bounty and practice their skills to find vulnerabilities to Get a reward from an organization.
Now let’s look at how can someone get started in Bug Bounty
Getting started in Bug Bounty
Getting started in Bug Bounty is simple but before getting started a person must know some knowledge about web application security or other tools that are used in the field. Below are some steps that will help you to get an idea of how can you get started as a Bug bounty Hunter.
- Learn the basics of web application security: Before you get started hunting for a bounty the first step is to Learn the basics of web application security. Because you need a strong foundation in web application security like common attack vectors and techniques, such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and server-side request forgery (SSRF)
- Set up a lab environment: After learning the basics of web application security next step is that you need to practice your skills to be a better Bug bounty Hunter. First, it is good to set up a lab rather than doing it on a live website or live project. You can set up a lab environment using virtual machines and tools such as OWASP ZAP, Burp Suite, and Kali Linux
- Familiarize yourself with bug bounty platforms: Nowadays there are many Bug bounty platforms available on the internet. You can signup for one of these Bug Bounty platforms like HackerOne, Bugcrowd, Intigriti, etc. Sign up for a few of these platforms to explore the available programs and get an idea of what types of vulnerabilities are being sought.
- Start with the low-hanging fruit: Don’t start by trying to find the most complex vulnerability in an application. As a beginner, the first thing you need to keep in mind is that start with the basic research and practice it and move to the next level. Don’t go with the most complex one. Sometimes it will waste your time and effort.
- Collaborate with others: I am not saying collaboration is everything but Joining bug bounty communities and collaborating with other researchers helps you to find and learn from others and also it helps to get feedback on your work.
- Be ethical: This is one of the main things you need to keep in mind Be ethical when doing a Bug Bounty program. When you find a vulnerability, report it to the organization through the proper channels. Don’t try to exploit the vulnerability for personal gain
Things to keep in mind
When doing bug bounty, it’s important to keep in mind some important things to ensure a successful and ethical experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Follow the rules: Each bug bounty program has its own rules and guidelines. Make sure you understand these rules and follow them carefully. Violating the rules can result in disqualification from the program.
- Keep your testing within the scope: Make sure to stay within the scope of the bug bounty program. Testing outside of the scope can result in disqualification, and can also cause unintended harm to the organization or its customers.
- Don’t harm the target: Your goal is to help the organization by identifying vulnerabilities, not to cause harm. Don’t intentionally damage or disrupt the organization’s systems or data.
- Document your findings: Keep detailed notes of your findings, including screenshots and descriptions of the vulnerabilities you have identified. This documentation will be helpful when submitting your report to the bug bounty program.
- Communicate effectively: When submitting your report, clearly explain the vulnerability and provide steps to reproduce it. Use clear and concise language and include any supporting documentation.
- Respect user privacy: Don’t access or disclose sensitive or private user information. If you find any sensitive information, such as personally identifiable information (PII), report it to the organization immediately.
- Be patient: Bug bounty programs can be competitive, and it can take time to find a vulnerability that qualifies for a payout. Be patient and persistent in your search.
- Act ethically: Always act with integrity and professionalism. Don’t use any illegal or unethical methods to gain access to systems or data.
By keeping these points in mind, you can ensure a successful and ethical bug bounty experience. Remember that your goal is to help organizations improve their security and that by doing so, you are contributing to a safer and more secure online environment.