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Why Bug Bounty Reports Get Rejected

Bug bounty programs are essential for enhancing cybersecurity, offering rewards to ethical hackers for discovering and reporting vulnerabilities. However, not all reports submitted to bug bounty platforms are accepted. In this blog, we'll explore common reasons why bug bounty reports get rejected and offer tips to ensure your submissions are successful.

Understanding Bug Bounty Reports

Bug bounty reports are detailed submissions from ethical hackers that describe identified vulnerabilities. These reports are crucial for organisations to fix potential security issues. However, to be accepted, reports must meet specific criteria and quality standards.

Common Reasons for Report Rejection:

  • Duplicate Reports: The reported vulnerability has already been submitted by another researcher.

  • Lack of Evidence: Insufficient proof or details to verify the existence of the vulnerability.

  • Out of Scope Issues: The reported vulnerability falls outside the defined scope of the bug bounty program.

  • Low Impact Vulnerabilities: The vulnerability has minimal or no impact on the overall security of the system.

  • Incomplete Reports: Missing critical information such as steps to reproduce, affected components, or remediation suggestions.

1. Duplicate Reports

One of the most frequent reasons for report rejection is duplication. If another researcher has already reported the same vulnerability, your report will be considered a duplicate and rejected.

Tip: Before submitting, check the program's disclosed vulnerabilities to avoid duplication.

2. Lack of Evidence

Reports must provide clear and convincing evidence of the vulnerability. This includes detailed steps to reproduce the issue, screenshots, videos, or any other supporting documentation. Tip: Ensure your report is thorough, with step-by-step instructions and sufficient evidence to validate your findings.

3. Out of Scope Issues

Every bug bounty program has a defined scope that outlines which assets and types of vulnerabilities are eligible for rewards. Reporting vulnerabilities outside this scope will result in rejection. Tip: Familiarise yourself with the program's scope and focus your efforts on the specified areas.

4. Low Impact Vulnerabilities

While it's essential to report all potential security issues, some vulnerabilities may have a negligible impact on the overall security of the system. These low-impact issues are often rejected. Tip: Prioritise finding and reporting vulnerabilities with significant security implications.

5. Incomplete Reports

A well-structured and complete report is crucial for acceptance. Missing information, such as how the vulnerability was discovered or its potential impact, can lead to rejection. Tip: Use a comprehensive template to ensure all necessary information is included in your report.

How to Improve Your Bug Bounty Reports

To increase the chances of your bug bounty reports being accepted, consider the following best practices:

1. Thoroughly Read the Program Guidelines Each bug bounty program has unique guidelines and requirements. Understanding these guidelines is essential for successful submissions.

2. Document Everything Provide detailed documentation, including steps to reproduce the vulnerability, screenshots, and videos. The more information you provide, the easier it is for the reviewers to verify your findings.

3. Test for High-Impact Vulnerabilities Focus on finding vulnerabilities that pose significant security risks. These are more likely to be rewarded and taken seriously by the program administrators.

4. Communicate Clearly Use clear and concise language in your reports. Avoid technical jargon that may be confusing to the reviewers. A well-written report is more likely to be understood and accepted.

Conclusion

Submitting successful bug bounty reports requires attention to detail, thorough documentation, and adherence to program guidelines. By understanding the common reasons for report rejection and following best practices, you can increase the chances of your reports being accepted and rewarded.


By addressing these common pitfalls and following best practices, you can enhance the quality of your bug bounty reports and contribute effectively to the cybersecurity community. 

Happy Hacking!

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