Immunefi launches on-chain bug bounties through ‘Vaults’ system

Immunefi launches on-chain bug bounties through ‘Vaults’ system


Blockchain security platform Immunefi has launched an on-chain system for bug bounties, according to a Sept. 26 announcement. The new system, called “Vaults,” allows Web3 developers to escrow funds in an on-chain address and use them to pay out bug bounties to white hat hackers.

Immunefi believes the new system will help projects “demonstrate to whitehats […] that they have allocated sufficient funds to pay bounties,” which it hopes will result in “more top-tier bug reports” being submitted.

List of Immunefi bug bounties. Source: Immunefi

Software developers often offer rewards, called “bug bounties,” to hackers who discover exploits or other bugs in their software. This sometimes allows vulnerabilities to be found before bad actors can exploit them. Hackers who submit bug reports for rewards instead of taking advantage of an exploit are called “white hat” hackers, while “black hat” hackers use their knowledge for malicious purposes.

Related: Projects would rather get hacked than pay bounties, Web3 developer claims

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According to the announcement, the new Immunefi system allows projects to deposit their bug bounty funds to a Safe multisig smart contract (formerly called a “Gnosis Safe”). This provides white hats with on-chain proof that the funds are available. Once a bug is submitted and a project has confirmed it’s genuine, the project can release the funds to the bug reporter’s wallet.

During Vault’s launch, Ethereum infrastructure provider SSV posted a $1 million deposit to help pay bug bounties for its software. Decentralized exchange Ref Finance, which is on the Near network, also uses the new system. SSV DAO contributor Eridian claimed that on-chain bug bounties will help provide better security for the DAO’s validator services, stating:

“The Vaults System will help us provide added reassurance for any researcher engaging with our bounty program, and in turn help secure the protocol even further. A good win-win. Building further trust with the community by showcasing dedicated funding, and streamlining the payment process, will ultimately strengthen our security efforts.”

In December 2022, Immunefi reported that it had facilitated $66 million in bug bounty payouts since the platform’s inception. LayerZero released a $15 million bug bounty through Immunefi on May 17.

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