As cyberattacks increase exponentially and the cost of maintaining dedicated internal security teams skyrockets, the popularity of the “bug bounty” program (which sees outside hackers paid by organizations to legally expose cybersecurity vulnerabilities) is exploding.

Organizations large and small are running programs to root out the security vulnerabilities in their products. Governments and policymakers are changing laws to make the approach easier to adopt, while private sector tech giants are also offering generous rewards – Apple alone has reportedly paid out more than $20 million via its bounty program, and the vendor offers up to $2 million to any hacker who reports a vulnerability that bypasses the protections of Lockdown Mode on its devices.

It’s an approach that dovetails perfectly with the Zabbix philosophy of “security first,” and it’s why as 2023 dawned we began working with HackerOne, the world leader in attack resistance management (ARM). ARM blends the security expertise of ethical hackers with asset discovery, continuous assessment, and process enhancement to find and close gaps in the digital attack surface.

Why HackerOne?

We knew from the start that we wanted to create a Zabbix-specific bug bounty program that would challenge the world’s best ethical hackers to find the weak spots in our cybersecurity armor – and let us know about them in time to fix them.

One of the biggest advantages of the HackerOne platform is the broad and diverse community of experts that they can call on. Adding Zabbix to HackerOne’s platform was a golden opportunity to test our security and vulnerabilities on a scale that we’d previously been unable to even imagine.

In contrast to an individual penetration test, which is the “old-school” industry standard security measure and is performed based on a pre-prepared scenario, we knew that HackerOne’s experts could discover vulnerabilities that a run-of-the-mill penetration test would never find.

At the same time, we knew that adding Zabbix to HackerOne was a bold decision that would test our faith in the security of our product. Put simply, teaming up with HackerOne was our way of confirming the quality of Zabbix and our desire to constantly improve it.

Getting started

We’ve known for a long time that HackerOne was the ideal partner for a bug bounty program, given their reputation for innovation and effectiveness. After an initial approach and agreement between HackerOne and Zabbix, it was time to consider what exactly a Zabbix bug bounty program would look like.

It was clear to everyone involved that if the reporting of vulnerabilities was to be meaningful and structured, we needed to develop new workflows that would provide a procedure for processing the received applications and handing them over for development. Another critical step was to register for the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database, where all vulnerabilities discovered in Zabbix are currently registered.

The results

We’re pleased to report that as with any successful implementation, the numbers speak for themselves:

Data for the period 01.01.2023 – 25.01.2024




• Reports submitted: 250
• Reports triaged: 3
• Reports closed as resolved: 16
• Reports rewarded: 19


• Total rewards: $17,300.00
• Average reward: $865.00
• Median reward: $500.00

Submissions by severity

• Critical: 29
• High: 65
• Medium, low, none: 108
• Not severe: 48

We were pleasantly surprised at the sheer number of submissions alone – not all 250 submissions were severe or even actionable, but the number shows that our community is taking to the program, spreading the word, and doing their part to help us make sure that Zabbix is as secure as we can possibly make it. The fact that we were able to “squash” several bugs that will now never get a chance to bedevil our users is just the icing on the cake.

The results are impressive, but in keeping with the Zabbix ethos of continuous improvement, we’re confident that with a few refinements we can pay out even more in 2024. After all, any money that goes toward building a better, more secure product is money well spent! We’d like to close by extending a special and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed to our bug bounty program and discovered vulnerabilities – keep up the great work!


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4 months ago

Could you please update the graphs so they are readable? I think someone forgot to upload the upscale versions of the images..

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