Microsoft inviting select users to 'come and do their worst' to improve cloud security

What you need to know

  • Microsoft launched the Azure Security lab to improve cloud security testing.
  • Microsoft increased several bug bounties to test security.
  • Financial rewards of up to $300,000 are available.

Microsoft announced a new Azure Security Lab, and several bug bounty increases to help improve cloud security. Microsoft is doubling the top bounty for Azure vulnerabilities to $40,000 and introducing several bounties related to the Azure Security Lab. Microsoft also formalized a two-decade commitment to the principle of safe harbor.

Azure Security Lab is a customer-safe cloud environment that allows individuals to attempt to hack Azure technologies without putting general users at risk. Azure Security Lab is unique because it is isolated from general users. That means that scenario-based challenges can be attempted and normal Azure users won't be affected. Microsoft announced a top award for these challenges of $300,000. The increased awards are broken down on the Azure Bounty Program page. Microsoft outlined all of the security announcements in a recent post (via ZDNet).

The Azure Security Lab is a set of dedicated cloud hosts for security researchers to test attacks against IaaS scenarios, and which is isolated from Azure customers. As well as offering a secure testing space, the lab program will enable participating researchers to engage directly with Microsoft Azure security experts. Accepted applicants will have access to quarterly campaigns for targeted scenarios with added incentives, as well as regular recognition and exclusive swag.

Microsoft opened applications to join the Azure Security Lab today, inviting select individuals to "come and do their worst to emulate criminal hackers." To apply, you can use Microsoft's request form. Financial rewards of up to $300,000 are available.

Additionally, Microsoft has formalized its commitment to Safe Harbor principles. These principles help ensure that individuals can report vulnerabilities and security issues without risking legal consequences.

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Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at