Proposal of a novel bug bounty implementation using gamification

Jamie O'Hare*, Lynsay A. Shepherd*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


Despite significant popularity, the bug bounty process has remained broadly unchanged since its inception, with limited implementation of gamification aspects. Existing literature recognises that current methods generate intensive resource demands, and can encounter issues impacting program effectiveness. This paper proposes a novel bug bounty process aiming to alleviate resource demands and mitigate inherent issues. Through the additional crowdsourcing of report verification where fellow hackers perform vulnerability verification and reproduction, the client organisation can reduce overheads at the cost of rewarding more participants. The incorporation of gamification elements provides a substitute for monetary rewards, as well as presenting possible mitigation of bug bounty program effectiveness issues. Collectively, traits of the proposed process appear appropriate for resource and budget-constrained organisations - such as Higher Education institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2020


  • Bug Bounty Program
  • Gamification
  • Vulnerability
  • Verification
  • Cybersecurity
  • Ethical Hacking

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