Bug bounty program - Definition from the Hotspot Shield Glossary

A Bug Bounty Program is a reward incentive program for people to discover bugs in software programs and applications. Businesses, organizations or even government departments may create a Bug Bounty program in order to find any security flaws or potential areas of exploitation, or even just errors in new software.

Individuals will enlist in these programs and then attempt to find flaws with the software in question - if they are successful and submit the bugs, or even find solutions to the bugs; they may receive a cash reward or simply be given official recognition for being the finder of the bug. Notable businesses that have used Bug Bounty programs include Facebook, Yahoo! Google and Microsoft. Indeed in 2013 Microsoft and Facebook formed a partnership to form the Internet Bug Bounty Program which covered a wide range of software and applications.