In case you didn’t know it yet, Google has been paying programmers and researchers to actually try to hack into their system and discover security vulnerabilities in order to better improve their system. In fact, they have shelled out more than $1.5 million last year alone to “reward” those who were able to find these vulnerabilities in Chrome and other Google products. Now they are introducing the same system for the Android mobile platform with their Android Security Rewards program.
If you are a researcher that can “find, fix, and prevent vulnerabilities” in the Android platform, then you will be able to receive monetary rewards from Google as a thank you for helping them get rid, or at the very least, discover these problems that users might encounter or are already encountering now. The first tier of the program involves the Nexus smartphones and tablets that are available on Google Play, specifically the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 now. If you are able to fix a security bug, including patches and tests, then you will get paid by Google for “each step required”.
You’ll get even more money if you are a security researcher that does tests and patches to help make the Google ecosystem stronger. But the largest monetary reward that they can offer is if the researcher knows how to work around certain security features like ASLR, NX, and sandboxing. Knowing how to discover and fix vulnerabilities around these areas would ensure that you are helping preventing digital crimes against users.
Aside from this new program, Google also has a Patch Rewards Program, where developers can contribute to improving security not just on Android but also on other open source platforms (and you get paid too!). This is also part of the very nature of Android where open security research is pretty important to ensure the survival of the whole digital ecosystem.