Organizations: What bounties are and how they work

Updated over a week ago

A bounty is money you reward to hackers for reported and resolved bugs. They're used to attract the best hackers and to keep them incentivized to hack your programs. You can use bounties to encourage hackers to focus on particular assets by altering the reward amount for different vulnerability types. You shouldn't feel obligated to award a bounty for every incoming report as it's best to only reward useful, valid reports.

Awarding Bounties on Reports

You can award a bounty through any report submitted to HackerOne. Some teams prefer to award a bounty once the issue has been confirmed as valid, while others wait until the issue is resolved.

To award a bounty:

  1. Go to your inbox and open the report you'd like to award a bounty for.

  2. Expand the action picker at the bottom of the report above the comment box.

    Set award dropdown button gif
  3. Select Set award.

  4. Enter the bounty amount you wish to award.

set bounty amount

Bounty amounts can be increased at any point by setting another award on the report, but keep in mind that bounties can't be removed once awarded. Award values are cumulative, such that if you've already awarded $1k, and wish to increase the total to $3k, then you should set the second award amount to $2k.

Suggesting Bounties

If you're unsure of how much to award the hacker, you can communicate a suggested amount with your internal team. To suggest an amount:

  1. Go to your inbox and open the report you'd like to award a bounty for.

  2. Expand the action picker at the bottom of the report above the comment box.

  3. Select Set award.

  4. Select Suggest amount in the next action picker.

  5. Enter your suggested bounty amount.

  6. (Optional) Enter the reason why you suggest that bounty amount.

  7. Click Suggest award.

Best Practices

Here are some best practices to follow when awarding bounties:

  • Provide bounties for useful, valid reports.

  • Award a bounty for a significant found vulnerability that is out of scope.

  • Clearly communicate to hackers your reasons for awarding or declining a bounty.

Note: Professional, Enterprise, and Fully Managed programs have access to a HackerOne representative who can provide insight and consult them through the bounty awarding process.

Bounties for Reports Received Outside of HackerOne

When hackers submit vulnerabilities to your organization outside of HackerOne, you can leverage the HackerOne API to award hackers for their efforts. To start paying hackers, generate an API token on your Program settings page. Keep in mind that this API endpoint is not for awarding bounties for reports on HackerOne itself, but only for reports that were reported outside of HackerOne.

Note: This option is only available for HackerOne Professional and Enterprise editions.

To start paying hackers:

  1. Go to Organization Settings > API Tokens.

  2. Click Create API Token to create an API token.

  3. Enter the unique identifier to authenticate the token in the New API Token window.

  4. Click Create.

  5. The API token will be generated and presented to you. This is the only time the API token is shown to you.

  6. Click Manage groups next to the API identifier to grant reward permissions to various groups.

  7. Select the groups you want to give reward permissions to. By default, the Standard group has Reward permissions.

  8. Make sure your billing methods have been completed so that there's a way to pay out bounties in Program Settings > General > Billing.

  9. Configure how to award a bounty. Go to this page to see the documentation on how to award a bounty. See the code example in cURL and Ruby that'll help you.

    1. Note: the 1337 program ID used in the example below is not real and should be replaced with your own program ID. You can find your program ID in report objects or by asking your HackerOne program manager.

    2. cURL

    3. Ruby

  10. Award the bounty for the hacker.

After the bounty has been awarded, the hacker will receive an email to claim the bounty. HackerOne will collect the person's tax form before processing the payout. The awarded amount, including your applicable fees, will be deducted from your balance immediately. A resolved dummy report will show up in your Bugs overview, which will help you keep track of the bounties you've paid out.

For technical questions or help with your implementation, please reach out to your HackerOne program manager.

Bounty Calculator

When your program has a bounty table set up, you will be presented with the bounty calculator when awarding a bounty. The bounty calculator computes the amount according to the table set up for your program, based on the reports’ asset and severity.

bounty calculator

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