Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google will pay $30,000 if you can break Android

No one likes a back-seat driver, except perhaps Google. That’s why the company is offering money incentives if you can find problems with the Android operating system.

Google’s “Vulnerability Reward Programme” has been around for a while, offering cash rewards for finding problems with its web services, Chrome, Chrome OS, apps, and extensions.

From today however, diligent users will also be able to earn some extra cash by finding security holes in Android too.

There’s a caveat – you’ll need to be hunting exploits down on current, Google-stamped devices. Right now, that’s just the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9.

Google says this “makes Nexus the first major line of mobile devices to offer an ongoing vulnerability rewards programme.”

Rewards for reporting bugs range depending on the severity of the flaw, with a “critical” exploit bringing in $2,000 (£1,272).

This amount quickly increases if you submit further information with the bug report, including test cases, unit tests, and AOSP patches – that last one will bag you $8,000 (£5,000).

Related: Best Android Smartphones 2015

Google also offers more lucrative rewards for serious breaches. For instance, if you compromise the kernel, TrustZone, or the Verified Boot process, you can claim a $30,000 (£19,000) payout.

The search engine giant claims it paid out more than $1.5 million (£954k) to security researchers in 2014 as part of the reward program.

Before you quit your job to scour Android code all day, check out our Nexus 6 video review and see if Google’s Android smartphone is the one for you.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.