Too good to be true! Right, gamers? A recent article from CBR has exposed a lucrative opportunity for eagle eyed gamers who want to earn money by pointing out bugs and other software related issues in Microsoft products.
CBR reports “In recent years, as computer security has become more of a concern for everyone, trying to get ahead of the bugs and vulnerabilities that cause hacks and denial of service attacks is a higher and higher priority. Microsoft has been in on this game for a while, but they just recently launched the Xbox Bounty Program, taking what has become a relatively standard ‘bug bounty’ program and bringing it to another video game console. If you find a major bug in an Xbox Live service and report it to them, you could get paid for it.”
In this age of the internet and 24/7 news where companies are always trying to get ahead of any embarrassing product issues that could cause problems for their brand, these bug bounty programs are important for companies because this allows consumers to have a stake in the products they enjoy by looking out for potential issues in various computer systems.
As CBR points out, “As many infamous video game launches have shown us, when you don’t have good enough Quality Assurance working on it, you end up releasing with a significant number of big bugs.” One example of a high profile release that will live in infamy was the 2006 Xbox 360 Sonic the Hedgehog game, which players considered “frustrating and nearly unplayable.”
There is an issue which does concern both Microsoft and those interested in this bounty program, that being account security. “There are people with payment methods sitting in that system,” CBR states, “or the console can act as a way to get into someone’s home network to launch another attack. This is extremely valuable to someone with malicious intent– credit card information or machines to turn into a botnet sell well– so the bug bounty tries to pay better than malicious hackers for these bugs to exploit.”
One only needs remember the 2011 Sony PS3 Network outage to know that not even our innocent game consoles are safe from those with ill intent.
As of now, payouts look strong and consumers view this as a great opportunity to earn money and ensure the games gamers love have the best quality assurance possible.