Coming out of an invite-only mode for the first time, Pornhub has opened up its bug bounty programme and is now offering up to $25,000 (£17,000) to anyone who can penetrate its security systems.

To do so, the popular adult website has partnered with HackerOne which is a bug-reporting platform used by a variety of large firms and technology companies including Yahoo, Twitter, Uber and Adobe. To date, the service claims to have facilitated the payout of over $7m to nearly 3,000 responsible hackers and security researchers.

Now Pornhub, eager to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to online security, wants in on the action. Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub, said: "Like other major tech players have been doing as of late, we're tapping some of the most talented security researchers as a proactive and precautionary measure – in addition to our dedicated developer and security teams – to ensure not only the security of our site but that of our users, which is paramount to us."

He added: "The brand new program provides some of our developer-savvy fans a chance to earn some extra cash – upwards to $25K – and the opportunity to be included in helping to protect and enhance the site for our 60 million daily visitors."

How it performs

Of course, there's always a catch when it comes to bug reporting – and plenty of strict rules that researchers must adhere to before any cash is paid out. In this instance, Pornhub says you will only qualify for an award if you are first person to report an exposed security hole and up to 90 days must be allowed in order for its security teams to implement a suitable fix.

The advisory also warns that hackers must "not leak, manipulate or destroy" any user data and that use of "automated tools or scripted testing" is also forbidden. Furthermore, the scope of the program is limited to security vulnerabilities solely found on the main Pornhub website.

Additionally, some forms of hacking activity are not allowed – many for obvious reasons. These include distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, physical attacks against offices and data centres and hits that are orchestrated using social engineering tactics. On its HackerOne page, Pornhub notes that it has already 'thanked' a number of white-hats and reveals its minimum reward is $50. While this may not be much, not everyone can claim to have earned a profit while watching porn.