Bug bounty hunting is one way to make a name for yourself in the world of cybersecurity. If you want to know how to become a bug bounty hunter then this guide is for you. As a bug bounty hunter, you investigate vulnerabilities in different software products and report them to the companies that created them.
In return, those who find and report vulnerabilities are rewarded with money or product rewards. In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to know about bug bounty hunting, from the basics to the more advanced techniques.
So whether you’re new to the game or an experienced bug hunter, read on for advice on how to become a successful bug bounty hunter!
What is bug bounty hunting?
Bug bounty hunting is a process where businesses reward individuals who find and report vulnerabilities in their websites or software. By doing this, the company can quickly identify and fix security issues before they become public.
Why is bug bounty hunting important?
Bug bounty hunting helps to prevent attacks from happening in the first place. It also encourages people to report any problems they notice so that developers can address them as soon as possible.
Finally, it provides financial incentives for hackers to uncover and disclose security vulnerabilities – which ultimately protects companies and their users from harm.
How does Bug Bounty Hunting work?
Typically, a company will set up a program with an independent organization (a third-party firm) that specializes in finding bugs and issuing rewards for reporting these flaws.
The program will typically have several stages: pre-launch phase (where potential bugs are discovered), launch phase (when the product goes live), testing phase (to make sure all reported defects have been fixed), post-launch phase (to monitor for further malicious activity).
Many large companies currently use bug bounties, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform Security Team, Microsoft Azure Security Operations Center., Tesla Motors Inc., Under Armour Inc., Yahoo! Japan Corporation We Bug You Too!.
There are several important things companies/organizations consider when launching a bug bounty program:
- Set clear rewards and guidelines for eligible submissions. Making sure that reward hackers based on the severity of the vulnerability, as well as how helpful they have been in reporting it to them.
- Educating their staff about what constitutes good bug reporting etiquette. Explain why certain information should not be shared with potential attackers, and teach employees how to identify malicious software or phishing schemes.
- Having a dedicated team member or administrator manage their program smoothly from start to finish. This person will be responsible for managing all submission folders, issuing rewards, communicating with participants, and more…
Who is a bug bounty hunter?
A bug bounty hunter is someone who hunts for security vulnerabilities in software. They do this in order to help protect the safety and integrity of the system they’re working on, as well as the public.
They do this to earn money by rewarding the finder of a vulnerability with cash or other rewards. Bug bounty hunting is becoming increasingly popular, as it offers businesses and individual users the opportunity to earn money for finding security issues in their products or services.
This could be their website, database, product, or even themselves (since many times bug bounties involve finding weaknesses in self-service systems).
Bug bounty hunters can work independently or they can work on behalf of a company or organization. Many have backgrounds in computer science, engineering, law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and even marketing.
They use various methods (such as penetration testing and ethical hacking) to discover vulnerabilities in systems.
There are several ways to become a bug bounty hunter. Many online and offline institutions offer courses specifically focused on this type of security research, while others train employees internally before handing them off to external firms.
There’s no right or wrong way to get started – all you need is an interest in protecting things and a willingness to learn new skills. If you’re interested in becoming a bug bounty hunter yourself, be sure to research the available opportunities first! There are many companies looking for talented individuals like you to help them safeguard their digital assets.
Requirements to Become a Bug Bounty Hunter
There are a few requirements that you must meet in order to become a bug bounty hunter.
- A computer with good internet access and enough storage space for all the files you’ll be downloading.
- An understanding of how computers work and some experience in programming.
- Excellent debugging and problem-solving skills.
- Strong analytical skills.
- Familiarize yourself with Networking and web Development (for hunting on bugs on web apps)
- Patience and perseverance – You won’t find many successful bug bounty hunters who give up easily when faced with a difficult challenge.
- Excellent communication skills – You’ll need to be able to write clear reports and communicate effectively with your team members, customers, as well as security professionals.
Skills required to become a bug bounty hunter
A bug bounty hunter is a person who helps protect the interests of a company or organization by finding and reporting vulnerabilities in their software. A bug bounty program is simply an arrangement between a company or organization and someone who will search for security flaws in their systems.
There are many skills that are necessary to be successful as a bug bounty hunter which include:
- Strong Investigative and Analytical abilities.
- Have experience with vulnerability scanning tools.
- Excellent Communication Skills.
- Ability to Work Independently.
- Ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions.
Bug bounties can offer significant rewards (up to $10,000) for reported security flaws. So if you’re interested in this career path, start looking into programs that qualify you!
Additionally, if you know the Hindi language then I’ve created a detailed video on How to become a Bug Bounty Hunter. You can watch it here.
Resources to learn bug bounty hunting
There are numerous resources available to help beginners get started in bug bounty hunting. Some of the best places to start include online courses, blog posts, and forums.
– HackerOne – This website offers an extensive resource library specifically dedicated to teaching people about bug bounty hunting. You can browse through different tutorials and articles, download white papers and case studies, or sign up for their email newsletter (which includes daily Bug Bounty Tips) to stay updated on the latest trends and developments in the field.
– Quora – Quora is a question/answer site where users can ask questions related to anything they’re interested in. This makes it a great place to search for answers related to as well as new ideas regarding bug bounty Hunting.
Here are some resources which you can use some Learn Basic & Important Concepts to become a Bug Bounty Hunter:
- About HTTP: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP
- HTTP Headers: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/Headers
- HTTP Security: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Security
- Content-Security Policy: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/CSP
- HTTP Cookies: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/Cookies#Secure_and_HttpOnly_cookies
- Web Security Cheatsheet: https://infosec.mozilla.org/guidelines/web_security
- Cross-Origin Resource Sharing: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/CORS
After learning some basic concepts, start learning about vulnerabilities… I recommend you to learn about OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities from here:
- OWASP Web Top 10: https://owasp.org/www-project-top-ten/
- OWASP API Top 10: https://owasp.org/www-project-api-security/
OWASP testing guide will give you a wide range of vulnerabilities and how you can test them. You can use this as a reference for finding various security vulnerabilities.
Tools used to do bug bounty hunting
There are many tools are available for bug bounty hunters. Most of them are free and open source and can be downloaded just by a single google search. All you need is to learn how to use them for your bug bounty hunting process.
Here is the list of some amazing bug bounty hunting tools which is very popular in the bug hunter’s community:
Burp Suite is a tool that enables you to find security vulnerabilities in web applications. It does this by intercepting traffic between your browser and the web application. This allows you to view and modify the requests that are being made. You can use Burp Suite to find things like SQL injection vulnerabilities and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.
NMAP is a network exploration and security auditing tool. It can be used to identify hosts and services on a network, as well as security issues. NMAP can be used to scan for vulnerable open ports on systems.
Sublist3r is a tool designed to enumerate subdomains of websites using OSINT. It’s helpful for penetration testers and bug hunters who want to collect subdomains for the domain they’re targeting. Sublist3r uses many search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, and Ask.
DirBuster is a java application that helps you brute force directories and file names on web/application servers. It’s multi-threaded so it can work faster, and it’s designed to be easy to use.
Ffuf is a great tool used for fuzzing. It has become really popular lately with bug bounty hunters. Ffuf is used for fuzzing Get and Post data but can also be used for finding hidden files, directories, or subdomains. Ffuf is fast and easy to use, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a quick and efficient way to find bugs.
These are just a few tools you can find more tools on the NAHAMSEC GitHub page by clicking here: Resources for Beginner Bounty Hunters: https://github.com/nahamsec/Resources-for-Beginner-Bug-Bounty-Hunters/blob/master/assets/tools.md
How to start doing bug bounty hunting?
There are a number of tools used to do bug bounty hunting, but the three most popular are Black Hat Security’s Bugcrowd, HackerOne, Intigriti, Google Cloud Platform’s Bugsnag & many more… Let’s understand some of them in brief:
Bugcrowd is a platform that allows businesses to crowdsource security research from qualified researchers. Researchers submit their findings in the form of vulnerabilities they have found and propose solutions.
If someone else has discovered the same vulnerability before you and fixed it, your solution won’t be accepted. However, if you’re the first person to find the vulnerability and report it, your submission will be rewarded with a cash prize (currently up to $10,000).
HackerOne is an online service where hackers can report vulnerabilities they find in websites or software. Once reported, HackerOne takes care of contacting the website owners/developers and negotiating a fix or disclosure timeline for public availability. The site also offers bonus rewards for reporting high-risk issues early on (up to $20 000).
Bugsnag is another bug bounty platform that focuses exclusively on mobile apps. It allows app developers to scan their apps for potential security issues and send reports directly to Bugsnag’s team of experienced security researchers who will investigate them further and determine whether any need further action (such as being published on its bug database). Developers receive real-time feedback as well as recommendations for improvement based on how secure their app currently is.
There are many bug bounty platforms that can be found online, and each one differs from the next in some way or another. The main goal of these platforms is to help corporations secure their software assets by using the skills of security researchers in an ethical way.
Sometimes, bug bounty programs can become very competitive, with many people applying to the same bug on the same site or program. In these cases, private bug bounties – which provide fewer hackers access to the target – might be a better option. Alternatively, it might be better to go for freelance jobs where you can apply for a part-time job to do full penetration testing.
So, in this article, I’ve tried to cover almost every point which is important for a beginner to understand if he/she wants to become a bug bounty hunter. You might have got your answer to “How to Become A Bug Bounty Hunter”. All the best for your bug hunting journey, I’ll see you in the next amazing article.
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