Getting started with Bug Bounty

3 min readJun 6, 2024



Bug bounty hunting is an exciting and lucrative field for those passionate about cybersecurity. By identifying and reporting vulnerabilities in software, websites, and applications, bug bounty hunters help organizations improve their security while earning rewards. This guide will walk you through the basics of getting started in bug bounty hunting and provide a checklist to help you on your journey.

What is Bug Bounty Hunting?

Bug bounty hunting involves finding security vulnerabilities in an organization’s software, applications, or websites and reporting them responsibly. Many companies run bug bounty programs, offering financial rewards or recognition to those who discover and report bugs.

Why Become a Bug Bounty Hunter?

1. Financial Rewards: Successful bug hunters can earn significant bounties, often in the range of hundreds to thousands of dollars per vulnerability.
2. Skill Development: It’s an excellent way to sharpen your cybersecurity skills and stay updated with the latest in security.
3. Flexibility: You can work from anywhere, at any time, making it a flexible side hustle or full-time job.
4. Community and Recognition: Joining a community of like-minded individuals and gaining recognition in the field.

Getting Started

1. Learn the Basics:
— Networking and Web Technologies: Understanding how the internet, websites, and applications work is crucial.
— Common Vulnerabilities: Study the OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities to get a grasp of common issues.

2. Develop Your Skills:
— Hands-On Practice:Use platforms like Hack The Box, TryHackMe, and WebGoat to practice.
— Reading and Research: Follow blogs, watch videos, and read books on ethical hacking and cybersecurity.

3. Join Bug Bounty Platforms:
— Bugcrowd, Securr These platforms list various bug bounty programs. Create profiles and start exploring available programs.

Securr dashboard-

4. Stay Ethical:
—Responsible Disclosure:Always follow the rules of the bounty program and disclose vulnerabilities responsibly.
— Continuous Learning: Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field. Keep learning and updating your skills.

Essential Tools for Bug Bounty Hunters

1.Web Browsers: Firefox or Chrome with developer tools.
2.Proxy Tools: Burp Suite or OWASP ZAP for intercepting traffic.
3. Scanning Tools: Nmap, Nikto for network scanning.
4. Fuzzing Tools: wfuzz, dirb for discovering hidden paths.
5. Password Cracking Tools: John the Ripper, Hashcat.
6. Virtual Labs: VirtualBox, VMWare for creating isolated testing environments.

Checklist for Aspiring Bug Bounty Hunters

1. Educational Foundation:
— [ ] Understand basic networking concepts.
— [ ] Learn web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript).
— [ ] Study the OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities.

2. Skill Development:
— [ ] Set up a home lab with virtual machines.
— [ ] Practice on platforms like Hack The Box or TryHackMe.
— [ ] Read books and watch tutorials on ethical hacking.

3. Tools Setup:
— [ ] Install a web browser with developer tools.
— [ ] Set up Burp Suite or OWASP ZAP.
— [ ] Install Nmap, Nikto, and other scanning tools.
— [ ] Learn to use fuzzing tools and password crackers.

4. Join the Community:
— [ ] Create profiles on Bugcrowd, HackerOne, Synack.
— [ ] Participate in forums and attend conferences.
— [ ] Follow security researchers and ethical hackers on social media.

5. Active Hunting:
— [ ] Start with smaller, less complex programs.
— [ ] Document and report findings clearly and responsibly.
— [ ] Continuously update your knowledge and skills.


Bug bounty hunting can be a rewarding career or hobby for those passionate about cybersecurity. With the right skills, tools, and ethical mindset, you can help make the digital world safer while earning rewards. Use this guide and checklist to kickstart your journey and become a successful bug bounty hunter.

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