White-hat hackers are in quite an abundance these days. The main job that they have is to ensure that certain security systems are tested out in the best way. However, the bounty is a pretty important requirement for the white-hat hackers for sure.
According to the crypto market current news, a white-hat hacker is responsible for the discovery of a pretty critical and crisis-level issue in the Coinbase API. However, the hacker demanded a bounty of $250k and said that it wasn’t too low for sure.
On the 11th of February, just 2 days before the QR code advertisement of Coinbase that cost about $14 million and before Super Bowl, the Coinbase Development and Management team was repeatedly contacted by a particular engineer. Apparently, Tree of Alpha had managed to discover a proper flaw in the Advanced Trading option that was to be newly introduced.
If the flaw was not solved correctly and promptly, it would actually allow the malicious users to actually sell Bitcoin or any other particular cryptocurrency without having to own any of it. Hence, this particular flaw was a pretty big one and also had the potential to completely destroy the entire market of cryptocurrency.
Making a comment on the particular flaw, Tree of Alpha mentioned in an interview with Cointelegraph that this particular vulnerability was basically worrying for the entire market of cryptocurrency.
Tree of Alpha also shared that any kind of oversight that happens during the Q/A testing or the development phase and the neglect of the respective teams was the reason for this flaw taking place. “While the advanced trading product was not available for everyone and was still in beta testing, a significant number of users could have used the exploit.”
However, it was all thanks to the amazing and quick reactions of the hacker as well as the proper response that came from the community that the danger was completely averted without having to face any issue. Hence, it can be said that Coinbase actually managed to avoid a pretty huge crisis in the first place.
As it is pretty common in the case of white-hat hacking, there was a bounty that was awarded to the hacker duly. Coinbase went ahead and awarded a total of about $250k to the unicorn of Silicon Valley. However, this caught the attention of Twitter and the platform was the first to make a judgment about the amount that was awarded calling it a bounty for the “bear market”.
However, according to Tree of Alpha, who actually mentioned in the interview with Cointelegraph, the amount was actually not too low and it was certainly not insulting for sure.
“While a higher bounty might have been wise to deter more grey hats from exploiting vulnerabilities, it is common in the crypto sphere to lose touch with the value of money. For most working human beings, $250K is a very decent sum.”
Ultimately, the events shone a light on the importance of white hat hacking for a relatively nascent industry. The U.S. State Department recently announced it would offer up to $10 million in crypto rewards to white hat hackers; however, Tree of Alpha affirmed that “white hat hacking is crucial yet criminally overlooked by companies.”
In a word to the wise, they concluded: “Companies won’t hesitate to spend tens of millions on marketing but won’t spend a fraction of it on making sure there is something left to the market.”
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong was among the first to thank the white-hat hacker for saving his company as he mentioned in his tweet after the crisis had been averted. He thanked the hacker for working together with the team of Coinbase in order to solve the issue properly.