Ukrainian hackers say HackerOne is blocking their bug bounty payouts (updated)

Zack Whittaker reports:

Ukrainian hackers and security researchers say bug bounty platform HackerOne is withholding their bug bounty rewards, in some cases thousands of dollars, and refusing to let hackers withdraw their earnings.

Several hackers and researchers with affected HackerOne accounts said in tweets that HackerOne is blocking payouts, citing economic sanctions and export controls following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February, but that the sanctions don’t apply to them.

Read more at TechCrunch.

John Jackson, known as “Mr. Hacking” on Twitter (@johnjhacking) and the author of Corporate Cybersecurity: Identifying Risks and the Bug Bounty Program expressed his opinion bluntly:


At a time when Ukraine is under attack in an illegal and inhumane war, that HackerOne would punish Ukrainian researchers by withholding what might be desperately needed funds is simply unconscionable. Has OFAC put any Ukrainian bounty hunters on the banned list for payments? If not, pay them.

HackerOne does not seem to have posted any updated statement today after their statement yesterday that they had misspoken about redirecting bounties to Unicef.

Updated:  Post-publication of TechCrunch’s article and this post, HackerOne CTO Alex Rice gave TechCrunch a statement that states, “We actively support Ukraine’s fight for freedom and have no intention of restricting bounty payments to Ukrainian hackers. I’m truly sorry for the stress caused here, and am committed to getting things back up and running as quickly as possible,” said Rice.”

You can read the rest of his statement on TechCrunch. It contains their explanation of why there was any delay at all for any Ukrainian researchers.


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