Receiving money for quashing drone bugs might seem like some kind of futuristic VR video game, but a recent announcement from DJI may bring that fantasy to life.
The world leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging is launching a bug bounty program to reward users who discover security issues with any kind of DJI software. So no, you might not be squashing actual bigs, but the reward you get will still be pretty hefty.
The initiative, titled “The DJI Threat Identification Reward Program,” serves to help DJI work more effectively with researchers and other drone enthusiasts by responsibly discovering and disclosing issues that may negatively affect the security or enjoyment of DJI devices or software.
The program will help gather insights from users who discover threats to private information and even the photos or videos taken by a drone itself. On top of this, threats to the actual use of the device are included, from issues causing app crashes to DJI’s geofencing restrictions or altitude limits.
“Security researchers, academic scholars and independent experts often provide a valuable service by analyzing the code in DJI’s apps and other software products and bringing concerns to public attention,” said DJI director of technical standards Walter Stockwell in a release. “DJI wants to learn from their experiences as we constantly strive to improve our products, and we are willing to pay rewards for the discoveries they make.”
Rewards for the potential bug catchers out there range from $100 to $30,000 depending on how threatening the big may be. A website with full terms and a standardized form to fill out is being developed, but for now bug reports can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for review.
Before this announcement, DJi did not offer any lines of communication to potential security researchers or users about how to report concerns, so this is a welcome sign for many drone enthusiasts.
“We want to engage with the research community and respond to their reasonable concerns with a common goal of cooperation and improvement,” Stockwell said. “We value input from researchers into our products who believe in our mission to enable customers to use DJI products that are stable, reliable and trustworthy.”
The new program is part of an effort that will see DJI ramp up security and stability for their products. The company will also introduce a new multi-step internal approval process for new app software to make sure any new additions meet standards.
DJI is a China-based technology company that specializes in high-quality drones for photography and filming purposes.