One good thing I like the most about Microsoft is that it is one company that keeps evolving based on the current trend. There are companies that start off really well but fail to stay in the market because of competitors. Microsoft is a company that proves to be great even if there is a tough competition in the market. Azure is a product that is equally competent with AWS but because of the marketing that is being done for AWS it sometimes makes people believe that there is no better product than AWS. If you ask me I would say that each product serves different purposes and it is also based on perspectives.
I have a friend who has been working with Microsoft products from the beginning of my career. Currently, he is working with Microsoft Azure and he feels that Azure is equally competent and over 18 percent of the systems being used are Microsoft Azure platforms. It is just that AWS is being more popular and thus people prefer using the popular one even though there are alternative options available in the market. I don't know much about the technical aspects to give comparative feedback so, I'm just going to stop here.
An opportunity for the hackers
This is not the first time a hacker gets an opportunity to hack something and get a reward for that. It has been happening for decades now. In some cases, some of the hacking firms do the hacking first and then demand a price with the parent company. Nowadays the trend has changed a lot. Some of the big companies give an open statement to hackers to hack their system and get a reward for the same. It has also been a case where most of the time the hacking attempt fails.
We cannot say that any system in the world is 100 % hack safe. That can never happen. When I used to attend hacking lectures through some public sessions, people used to say that at the most mainframes are something that gives hackers a tough time. Things would have changed and now the trend would be a bit different. But most of the top companies still use mainframe system just for the purpose of security. Even if they have other applications, it would be something on top of the mainframe systems but they don't easily decide to replace their mainframe system with something else.
Coming to the topic, after all, today I read an article where Microsoft has given a three-month challenge to hack their Azure Sphere OS. This is a custom OS built by Microsoft by using Linux. This custom operating system was built last year for running their IoT systems. They claim to have built the system with as much security as possible. That is one of the reasons why they give an open reward for someone who can hack their system.
From time to time many companies give such open rewards to the hacker community just to understand the security of their systems. Most of the time the security-related things and vulnerabilities are discussed off the desk because the company will need resources and manpower to fix it. But at times many companies also give open challenges to the hacker community to assess their product or hack their systems. Not all the scenarios might be eligible for the bounty program. There would be a specific set of scenarios in the Azure Sphere Security Research Challenge for which the bounty is applicable. You can read their blog to get more details about the same.