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Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 09:51:10 -0400
From: Jeffrey Walton <>
To: James Condron <>
Cc: "" <>
Subject: Re: XSS Vulnerability

Hi James,

> I guess the email from ebay sorta makes it all moot anyway.
Its interesting how the reason code changed. On May 24 the reason was
Kugler was too young; and then on May 29 the reason was the flaw was
previously reported.

It sounds like PayPal is lying to bring this to an end; and they've
lost more credibility.


On Wed, May 29, 2013 at 9:22 AM, James Condron
<> wrote:
> Ah, but then don't forget that in a contract (which this most certainly is not- but the parallels are there) ambiguity benefits the party which didn't draft the document.
> If its reasonable to infer a payment, and reasonable to fail to infer an age range, I think its reasonable to get paid for it.
> I guess the email from ebay sorta makes it all moot anyway.
> On 29 May 2013, at 13:33, Julius Kivimäki <> wrote:
>> Well, they don't exactly state that they're going to pay you either.
>> 2013/5/29 Źmicier Januszkiewicz <>
>>> Hmm, interesting.
>>> For some reason I fail to find the mentioned "age requirements" at the
>>> official bug bounty page located at
>>> Am I looking in the wrong direction? Can someone please point to where
>>> this is written?
>>> With kind regards,
>>> Z.
>>> 2013/5/29 Robert Kugler <>
>>>> 2013/5/29 Jeffrey Walton <>
>>>>> On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 12:38 PM, Robert Kugler
>>>>> <> wrote:
>>>>>> Hello all!
>>>>>> I'm Robert Kugler a 17 years old German student who's interested in
>>>>> securing
>>>>>> computer systems.
>>>>>> I would like to warn you that is vulnerable to a Cross-Site
>>>>>> Scripting vulnerability!
>>>>>> PayPal Inc. is running a bug bounty program for professional security
>>>>>> researchers.
>>>>>> ...
>>>>>> Unfortunately PayPal disqualified me from receiving any bounty payment
>>>>>> because of being 17 years old...
>>>>>> ...
>>>>>> I don’t want to allege PayPal a kind of bug bounty cost saving, but
>>>>> it’s not
>>>>>> the best idea when you're interested in motivated security
>>>>> researchers...
>>>>> Fortunately Microsoft and Firefox took a more reasonable positions for
>>>>> the bugs you discovered with their products.
>>>>> PCWorld and MSN picked up the story:
>>>>> and
>>>>> .
>>>>> It is now news worthy to Wikipedia, where it will live forever under
>>>>> Criticisms (unfortunately, it appears PayPal does a lot of
>>>>> questionable things so its just one of a long list).
>>>>> Jeff
>>>> Today I received an email from PayPal Site Security:
>>>> "Hi Robert,
>>>> We appreciate your research efforts and we are sorry that our
>>>> age requirements restrict you from participating in our Bug Bounty Program.
>>>> With regards to your specific bug submission, we should have also mentioned
>>>> that the vulnerability you submitted was previously reported by another
>>>> researcher and we are already actively fixing the issue. We hope that you
>>>> understand that bugs that have previously been reported to us are not
>>>> eligible for payment as we must honor the original researcher that provided
>>>> the vulnerability.
>>>> I would also mention that in general, PayPal has been a consistent
>>>> supporter of what is known as “responsible disclosure”.  That is, ensuring
>>>> that a company has a reasonable amount of time to fix a bug from
>>>> notification to public disclosure.  This allows the company to fix the bug,
>>>> so that criminals cannot use that knowledge to exploit it, but still gives
>>>> the researchers the ability to draw attention to their skills and
>>>> experience.  When researchers go down the “full disclosure” path, it then
>>>> puts us in a race with criminals who may successfully use the vulnerability
>>>> you found to victimize our customers.  We do not support the full
>>>> disclosure methodology, precisely because it puts real people at
>>>> unnecessary risk. We hope you keep that in mind when doing future research.
>>>> We acknowledge that PayPal can do more to recognize younger security
>>>> researchers around the world. As a first step, we would like you to be the
>>>> first security researcher in the history of our program to receive an
>>>> official "Letter of Recognition" from our Chief Information Security
>>>> Officer Michael Barrett (attached, will follow up with a signed copy
>>>> tomorrow). We truly appreciate your contribution to helping keep PayPal
>>>> secure for our customers and we will continue to explore other ways that we
>>>> can we provide alternate recognition for younger researchers.
>>>> We'd welcome the chance to explain this all to you first hand over the
>>>> phone, please email us at this address with a number and good time to reach
>>>> you and we’d be happy to follow-up.
>>>> Thank you,
>>>> PayPal Site Security"
>>>> It's still curious that they only mentioned the first researcher who
>>>> previously found the bug after all the media attention...Nevertheless I
>>>> appreciate their intentions to acknowledge also younger security
>>>> researchers, it's a step in the right direction!!
>>>> Best regards,
>>>> Robert Kugler

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