Microsoft ready to pay $250,000 to identify bugs in their system
The offering is part of Microsoft’s new bounty programme
The step was taken after incidents of theft in other companies
Microsoft is offering up to $250,000 for identifying bugs that are similar to the “Meltdown” and “Spectre” CPU flaws. The offering is part of Microsoft’s new limited-time bounty programme for “speculative execution” side-channel vulnerabilities. “This new class of vulnerabilities was disclosed in January 2018 and represented a major advancement in the research in this field,” Microsoft said in a blog post on Friday.
“In recognition of that threat environment change, we are launching a bounty programme to encourage research into the new class of vulnerability and the mitigations Microsoft has put in place to help mitigate this class of issues,” it added.
“Speculative execution is truly a new class of vulnerabilities, and we expect that research is already underway exploring new attack methods,” said Phillip Misner, a security group manager at Microsoft. The bug bounty programme is open until December 31.
Intel recently confirmed a report about a potential security flaw in its chips that is vulnerable to hacking. According to security researchers, two CPU-level vulnerabilities “Spectre” and “Meltdown” have affected all chips made in the last two decades by Intel, AMD and AMR.
Following the news of the bugs getting out, all major tech players such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, including Intel, released security patches to help protect users from potential data theft. IANS
At a time when facial recognition technology is fast becoming a part of our lives, Microsoft has become the first tech giant to initiate a call for regulations to limit the technology that can be used for mass surveillance affecting civil liberties.
In a blog post on Friday, Microsoft President Brad Smith said a government initiative to regulate the proper use of facial recognition technology is the need of the hour.
“We believe US Congress should create a bipartisan expert commission to assess the best way to regulate the use of facial recognition technology in the US,” Smith said.
The purpose of such a commission “should include advice to Congress on what types of new laws and regulations are needed, as well as stronger practices to ensure proper congressional oversight of this technology across the executive branch”, the Microsoft President noted.
Several tech companies, including Microsoft, have utilised face-recognition technology in the past several years to turn time-consuming work to catalog photos into something both instantaneous and useful.
However, Microsoft has already rejected requests to deploy the technology in situations involving “human rights risks”, Smith informed.
Smith earlier called for a new digital Geneva Convention that commits governments to defending and protecting civilians from state-sponsored cyber-attacks.
“We live in a nation of laws, and the government needs to play an important role in regulating facial recognition technology.
“A world with vigorous regulation of products that are useful but potentially troubling is better than a world devoid of legal standards,” Smith suggested.
The computer-assisted facial recognition can recognise people’s faces from a photo or through a camera.
This technology can catalog your photos, help reunite families or potentially be misused and abused by private companies and public authorities alike.
“Facial recognition technology raises issues that go to the heart of fundamental human rights protections like privacy and freedom of expression,” Smith wrote.
In recent weeks, a group of Amazon employees objected to its contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), while reiterating concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology.
IT company Salesforce’s employees have raised the same issues related to immigration authorities and these agencies’ use of their products.