The Ethereum Bounty Program provides bounties for bugs. We call on our community and all bug bounty hunters to help identify bugs in the protocols and clients. Earn rewards for finding a vulnerability and get a place on our leaderboard. See Rules & Rewards section for details.
Martin Holst Swende*
Yoonho Kim (team Hithereum)
* No longer eligible for bounties, since October 2016. Martin now works for the Ethereum Foundation and, among other things, manages the bug bounty program.
Please have a look at the bullets below before starting your hunt!
The value of rewards paid out will vary depending on Severity. The severity is calculated according to the OWASP risk rating model based on Impact and Likelihood :
Reward sizes are guided by the rules below, but are in the end, determined at the sole discretion of the Ethereum Foundation bug bounty panel.
1 point currently corresponds to 1 USD (payable in ETH or BTC), something which may change without prior notice.
OBS! Between 2017-09-19 and Byzantium hard-fork on Mainnet, each point corresponds to 2 USD for issues related to cross-client consensus or geth DoS vulnerabilities.
Beyond monetary rewards, every bounty is also eligible for listing on our leaderboard with points accumulating over the course of the program.
In addition to Severity, other variables are also considered when the Ethereum Foundation bug bounty panel decides the score, including (but not limited to):
Important Legal Information
The bug bounty program is an experimental and discretionary rewards program for our active Ethereum community to encourage and reward those who are helping to improve the platform. It is not a competition. You should know that we can cancel the program at any time, and awards are at the sole discretion of Ethereum Foundation bug bounty panel. In addition, we are not able to issue awards to individuals who are on sanctions lists or who are in countries on sanctions lists (e.g. North Korea, Iran, etc). You are responsible for all taxes. All awards are subject to applicable law. Finally, your testing must not violate any law or compromise any data that is not yours.
Our bug bounty program spans end-to-end: from soundness of protocols (such as the blockchain consensus model, the wire and p2p protocols, proof of work, etc) and protocol/implementation compliance to network security and consensus integrity. Classical client security as well as security of cryptographic primitives are also part of the program. When in doubt, send an email to email@example.com and ask us.
Here is some guidance on what we are typically interested in hearing about:
Geth is an Ethereum client written in Go. Areas that typically are in scope are:
Some areas of Geth are ‘experimental’, and not yet enabled by default. Yes, these are also included, but the ‘Impact’ of issues in the areas below will be counted as low.
The LES (light clients) parts of Geth are twofold: server and client. For LES, we are interested in
Swarm is not yet production ready, and has very limited bounty scope. We are always interested in RCE-types of vulnerabilities, but not (yet) DoS via swarm protocols.
Whisper is also not yet production ready, and has very limited bounty scope.
EthereumJ EthereumJ is a pure-Java implementation of the Ethereum protocol, and the basis of Harmony – a full Ethereum client. EthereumJ/Harmony is not included in the bounty program, since there are still too many known issues, and not a full mainnet client yet.
Aleth is an impementation of an Ethereum node in C++. This client is included, but any issues found will have rather low Impact rating since it’s not commonly used. Typically, we would be interested in consensus or p2p DoS issues, but not so much e.g. DoS via RPC attacks.
Py-evm is a python implementation of the Ethereum Virtual Machine, and the basis for Trinity. The Trinity client is currently in an alpha release stage and is not suitable for mission critical production use cases. Both of these components are included in the bounty scope, but any issues reported will have a lowered Impact since there are already known issues and they are not considered production release.
This category includes:
Here is an example of a submitted Solidity bug.
Solidity does not hold security guarantees regarding compilation of untrusted input – and we do not issue rewards for crashes of the
solc compiler on maliciously generated data.
Mist is a Dapp browser that connects users to the blockchain. The scope of bounty submissions includes, but are not limited to:
Privilege escalation issues.
Flaws breaking into the victim’s filesystem.
Flaws compromising any information outside each website scope (e.g. localStorage leaks, cross-website interaction).
Flaws affecting Mist that were already made publicly available by the vendors (e.g. Electron, Chromium, v8) may or may not be accepted by us.
The Vyper language is a new, experimental programming language for the EVM. It is still beta software, and as such is not expected to be bug-free.
Vyper is included in the bug bounty, but due to it still being under development, the Impact of bugs found will be downgraded accordingly.
Typical bugs that could qualify are:
As with Solidity, crashes of the Vyper compiler in the face of malicious input is not included in the bounty program.
LLL is not included in the bug bounty.
Pyethereum is a legacy Ethereum implementation, and the basis for the Pyethapp python client implementation. Both of these are now deprecated, in favour of py-evm/Trinity, and not not in scope of the bounty program.
This category includes:
Here is an example of a bug in the initial ENS registrar that would have allowed people to bid during the reveal period, thus affecting the legitimacy of auction results.
ERC20 contract bugs are typically not included in the bounty scope. However, we can help reach out to affected parties, such as authors or exchanges in such cases.
Our infrastructure; such as webpages, dns, email etc, are not part of the bounty-scope.
Here is an example of a real issue which was previously present in the Go client:
Description: Remote Denial-of-service using non-validated blocks
Attack scenario: An attacker can send blocks that may require a high amount of computation (the maximum gasLimit) but has no proof-of-work. If the attacker sends blocks continuously, the attacker may force the victim node to 100% CPU utilization.
Impact: An attacker can abuse CPU utilization on remote nodes, possibly causing full DoS.
Components: Go client version v0.6.8
Reproduction: Send a block to a Go node that contains many txs but no valid PoW.
Details: Blocks are validated in the method
Process(Block, dontReact). This method performs expensive CPU-intensive tasks, such as executing transactions (
sm.ApplyDiff) and afterward it verifies the proof-of-work (
sm.ValidateBlock()). This allows an attacker to send blocks that may require a high amount of computation (the maximum
gasLimit) but has no proof-of-work. If the attacker sends blocks continuously, the attacker may force the victim node to 100% CPU utilization.
Fix: Invert the order of the checks.
No end date is currently set. See the “News & Updates” section above, and the Ethereum blog for the latest news.
Rewards are paid out in ETH or BTC after the submission has been validated, usually a few days later. Local laws require us to ask for proof of your identity. In addition, we will need your ETH/BTC address.
Yes. We can donate your reward to an established charitable organization of your choice.
We aim to respond to submissions as fast as possible. Feel free to email us if you have not received a response within a day or two.
Submitting anonymously or with a pseudonym is OK, but will make you ineligible for BTC rewards. To be eligible for BTC rewards, we require your real name and a proof of your identity. Donating your bounty to a charity doesn’t require your identity.
Please let us know if you do not want your name/nick displayed on the leader board.
Every found vulnerability / issue is assigned a score. Bounty hunters are ranked on our leaderboard by total points.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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