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Listed below are common BlueHat Prize questions we've received. For entry content details, intellectual property rights and other small print, see rules and regulations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:

I have a great security idea that’s not related to memory safety vulnerabilities. Can I enter it in the BlueHat Prize?

A:

For the 2012 BlueHat Prize, we’re looking specifically for memory safety vulnerability mitigation techniques. If you have an idea in a different area, that’s great for you – you can write about it! You can prototype it! Perhaps you can sell it to someone. But you can’t enter the BlueHat Prize with it.

Q:

What do I need to include in my entry? How detailed does it need to be?

A:

For an entry to be valid, you must provide a technical description and a prototype, as described in the rules and regulations. There aren’t any rules about word-count or entry length, but we expect the best entries will contain several of pages of text (with diagrams where appropriate) and perhaps several hundred lines of code.

Q:

Does my entry need to be in English?

A:

Yes. While we hope that entries will come from all over the world, we require entries and communications in English, because it is the common language among members of the judging panel.

Q:

I know one or more of the BlueHat Prize judges. Can I ask for their input on my idea before I submit an entry to the contest?

A:

No. Any idea that you share with a BlueHat Prize judge before submitting it to the contest is disqualified. To enter a valid submission, you must send an email to bluehatprize@microsoft.com that includes:

  • Full documentation of your original idea (several pages of text and any necessary diagrams)
  • A code prototype, demonstrating your idea in action

You must also agree to the licensing terms. Only then will your official entry be passed on to the judging panel.

Q:

I understand I can’t enter the BlueHat Prize Contest anonymously, but can I remain anonymous if I win?

A:

If you are a winner and wish to not be identified publicly, we will honor that request as best we can, in accordance with Washington State law, by not publishing your name on the prize website. However, your identity will be known to the judging panel and the BlueHat planning team inside Microsoft, so you will not remain anonymous as a winner, just not publicly identified on the prize website. In addition, according to Washington State law, where the BlueHat Prize contest is operating, if someone requests the names of the winners in writing, the names must be provided in writing. If you enter the contest, it is best to assume that your identity as a winner will be publicly known eventually due to Washington State law, despite Microsoft’s good faith efforts to honor your request.

Q:

I want to blog about my entry to the BlueHat Prize contest. Will that disqualify my entry?

A:

As long as the entry is new and has not been previously published before submitting an official entry to the BlueHat Prize contest, you are free to do what you like with your intellectual property that does not otherwise conflict with the terms of the contest. Blogging about your idea after the BlueHat Prize Team receives a complete official entry and assigns your submission a number is entirely up to you, since you own the IP for your idea.

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