Ethnic hackers in Ukraine are confused when HackerOne Bug Bounty platform says to suspend their payments

In the midst of Russia’s ongoing disruption, some of Ukraine’s most ethical hackers feel lost because HackerOne’s error reward platform has saved their payments. The loss of a sudden stoppage is said to have risen by hundreds and thousands of dollars. Some affected ethical hackers – also known as cybersecurity researchers – have taken the issue to social media. Some of them have even written to the platform to clarify why it has disabled payments in the midst of the country’s humanitarian catastrophe.

Ethical hackers typically earn tens and hundreds and millions of dollars in payments through bug reward platforms to report bugs on various Internet-based solutions. However, HackerOne reportedly stopped payments to some Ukrainian hackers.

Earlier this month, HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos announced“[A]As we work to enforce the new sanctions, we will remove all customer programs located in the occupied areas of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. ” clarify that the restrictions were for the punished regions – Russia and Belarus, without mentioning clear details about the situation in Ukraine.

“The situation is really weird,” said independent security researcher Bob Diachenko, who has been linked to the San Francisco (California) platform for the past two to three years.

The security investigator tweeted on Sunday that HackerOne had stopped paying around $ 3,000 (approximately Rs. 2,30,000) for reported bugs.

With the suspension of payments, HackerOne has removed the ‘Clear’ status from all Ukrainian accounts. The situation essentially allows ethical hackers to participate in private programs run by various companies for $ 2,000 (approximately 1.53,100) for high-severity vulnerability or $ 5,000 (3,82,800) for at least $ 3,82,800 for severity. Requires background checks for researchers to participate in listed programs.

“HackerOne was a major source of income for me and many other researchers,” said independent security researcher Nick Mykhailyshyn. “Even for a few weeks, stopping payments can put a lot of people at risk.”

Mykhailyshyn wrote to the HackerOne support team to understand if her payments were blocked in error and ‘Clear’ was accidentally removed. He shared a screenshot with Gadgets 360, where the team responded that the company was “exploring the available options to reset the background check update and restart Clear, pending updated results.”

The response also stated: “We recognize that this is very frustrating for you and we are working diligently to ensure that we address and enforce US economic sanctions and export controls.”

Another hacker, Vladimir Metnew, shared He was sent a screenshot of a HackerOne support message stating that all communications and transactions were interrupted to those located in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

Earlier this month, at the start of the month, HackerOn announced a $ 25,000 (approximately Rs.14,300) donation to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and planned to match the donations with up to $ 100,000 (approximately Rs 76 crore). , 57,300) to help people in war-torn Ukraine over the next three months.

On Monday, CEO of Hacker MickosOne also said the company was executing hackers through additional screens based on criminal rules.

“Sanctions are written to cover a wide range of financial and business areas. They were not written considering ethical hacking. They are also frequently updated. Interpretation of penalties is difficult. We have internal and external experts at work, ”said Mickos he saidand added that he apologized for the delays and inconvenience to hackers on the platform.

The executive, however, did not clarify whether the profits of Ukrainian researchers were deliberately disabled.

Gadgets 360 has been contacted by HackerOne to request a comment on the issue and will update this article when the company responds.

HackerOne is one of the most popular bug fix platforms in the world. It has more than a million hackers who in 2020 received only $ 40 million (about $ 306 million), according to the company’s internal report.

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