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Riot Games' newest competitive shooter Valorant is still in closed beta, but the developers are keen to stamp out any vulnerabilities in its Vanguard anti-cheat system. So much so that Riot has offered up to $100,000 (around £80,000) for "high quality reports that demonstrate practical exploits leveraging the Vanguard kernel driver".
As spotted by Kotaku over the weekend, the "bounty" has been posted to HackerOne, a site where big tech companies can offer rewards for uncovering major vulnerabilities in their security. The Vanguard bounty itself reads: "Alongside our new game Valorant, we have deployed our new anti-cheat solution Vanguard that leverages a kernel driver to combat cheaters more effectively."
The Vanguard anti-cheat system has already caused some concern for players who have been lucky enough to get into Valorant's closed beta. The system is apparently downloaded with the game and is always running in the background on players' PCs. But it seems that Riot is confident when it comes to the program's security, and has even posted a lengthy article to reassure players. This is also presumably why it's offering such a huge payout should anyone find a vulnerability.
"As part of our commitment to player security and privacy, we've been running a Bug Bounty program on HackerOne for the past six years. We've rewarded security researchers with almost two million dollars in bounties and our scope includes everything that players interact with. Today we're announcing that we're creating a special scope for Vanguard vulnerabilities with even higher bounties. We want players to continue to play our games with peace of mind, and we're putting our money where our mouth is."
Riot isn't the only company in the games industry that has used HackerOne to set bounties. Valve, Nintendo and Rockstar Games have all used the system to ensure the ongoing security of their systems or games. Though, as Kotaku rightly points out, none of them has come close to the £80k that Riot is offering.
It honestly sounds like a great idea. With incentives like that, you can guarantee people will do their best to find flaws in the security, so it's a win-win situation for both players and Riot.
And as Riot states in the security report, "Please keep holding us accountable for protecting both the competitive integrity of your games and your personal privacy."
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