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February 11, 2021

Announcing: Elite Bug Bounty Program

Note: Verizon Media is now known as Yahoo.

Announcing: Elite Bug Bounty Program


New for 2021, we are happy to introduce a brand new part of our public bug bounty program the Verizon Media Elite Program.


  • Special “Invite Only” program
  • Initially limited to ten (10) rotating researchers
  • Cyclical qualifications
  • Credentialed untouched (brand new) scope
  • Private engineering briefings
  • One or more mini-campaigns during every cycle
  • Top priority in our payout procedures 
  • Elite Swag
  • Private Slack instance - more open access to The Paranoids
  • Tool Automation is strictly throttled - We consider the initial 10 researchers to be of a high standard and expect any issues that may be reported to be of a higher severity / quality finding.  We are looking for that, “what’s in your head” bug, the type that no automated scanner is likely to find.
  • A Non-Disclosure Agreement is required to participate in Elite. 
  • Briefings by product teams prior to campaign launch may be offered around their technology / application.
  • Additional perks to be announced


How do I get invited to the Elite ?


The initial 10 researchers invited for Elite were hand picked based on:

  • Overall performance in 2020
  • Interactions with Verizon Media Bug Bounty Team
  • Performance during H1-415 (2020), H1-2004 & H1-2010
  • Types and severity of issues reported during 2020
  • Quality of written reports
  • Level of commitment to Verizon Media’s public bug bounty program
  • Do not have more than two strikes
  • Have completed HackerOnes Clear Program (hackers who are not CLEAR certified but meet the other qualifications will earn entry to the Elite program during the next cycle following their certification approval)
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Not a resident or individual located within a country appearing on any U.S. sanctions lists (such as the lists administered by the US Department of the Treasury’s OFAC).


Here’s the interesting part


Every 90 days, a rotation will occur.  In short, the bottom 5 performers within the Elite program will be relegated back into the Public program and the top 5 performers within Public will be promoted into Elite.

Being relegated never means your bug hunting skills suck.  People's lives change constantly, it could be that one of the initial top 10 has secured a new job or welcomed a new family member and is no longer able to commit as much time to the program.

In order to keep the Elite program functioning with researchers that show a level of commitment, ambassadorship, and excellent skill sets, it is necessary to use this rotation method.  We do not want to end up with 10 researchers who, for whatever reason, do not have the time available to participate in a campaign.  That’s not a very Elite program.

On the flip side, a newcomer to Public may be knocking it out of the park and clearly committing a lot of time and effort.  This 90 day rotation allows for those researchers in Public who shine the opportunity to get an invite into the Elite program.


Who do you think will be in the first Elite class?


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