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Security

How Bug Bounties Are Like Rat Farming 140

Gunkerty Jeb writes "In a keynote speech at the United Security Summit, Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics, drew parallels between the increasingly popular (and successful) practice of software vendors offering bug bounties and a new industry springing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the population has recently found itself beset with a growing rat problem. In order to help mitigate their rodent problem, officials in Johannesburg began offering a small monetary rewards for each dead rat turned in. It was wildly successful, and it didn't take long for fresh batch of entrepreneurs to pop up and exploit the situation. Of course, I'm talking about rat farming. Evidently, business minded individuals have taken to breeding rats, only to kill them and turn them in for rewards. Obviously, rat farming is somewhat unscrupulous, but security researchers are doing the same thing: breeding bugs in the lab, then leading them to the slaughter for a nice payday. And it's a good thing."

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