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$100,000 payday for discoverer of Microsoft Windows bug

Microsoft pays cold hard cash to a British security researcher who uncovered a bug in a preview version of the operating system.

The Windows 8.1 Preview.
The Windows 8.1 Preview.
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

With little more than a week ahead of the Windows 8.1 rollout, Microsoft said it dished out its biggest ever reward to a British researcher who found a chink in the armor of the new operating system.

James Forshaw uncovered a bug in a preview version of Windows 8.1 that hackers could exploit, according to The Guardian. The London resident is a security researcher by trade.

Microsoft paid Forshaw $100,000, the first time it has paid such a big reward.

Not bad for three and a half weeks of work.

Katie Moussouris, Microsoft senior security strategist, told the paper that Forshaw's discovery was particularly valuable because it learned a new technique of attack and its variants. Thanks to a newfound ability to defend against whole classes of attacks, Microsoft paid more than it would for an individual bug discovery, she said.

Microsoft has opened preorders for Windows 8.1, the update coming later in October 18, that's designed to make it easier for people to absorb the dramatically different interface that Windows 8 introduced.

Windows 8 fell flat with many customers by booting into a start page covered with high-contrast app rectangles rather than the familiar desktop with its start button. In 8.1, Microsoft reinstates the start button and gives users the option to boot their systems into the old-style desktop interface.