Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has revealed that it has paid out more than $5 million to altruistic hackers over the past few years through its bounty program.
The company stated that more than 900 altruistic hackers or researchers have been a part of the program and have benefited from the bounty. Companies such as Facebook use bounty programs to give researchers and altruistic hackers a chance to do what they do best. These researchers scout the computer systems and code to sniff out any security flaws or loopholes that may lead to vulnerability.
The motive behind the bounty program is to try and get to these security flaws before malicious or criminal hackers find them and use them for the wrong motive. According to Facebook, 149 researchers received an aggregate of more than $610,000 within the first half of this year. The researchers are from different regions including India, Mexico, and the US. Anand Prakash, a security engineer from India received $15,000 in March for finding a bug that made it possible to hack into any Facebook account.
“Launching and running a program of this size for five years is not easy, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the broader security research community. In fact, we discovered many of the people now on our team through the community of researchers submitting reports,” stated Facebook security engineer, Joey Tyson.
The bounty program was initiated in 2011 and is now in its fifth year. Tyson reported that the company has received more than 9,000 bug reports within the first half of this year though it has not reported the number of valid bug reports. The bounty program is a vital tool for the company because it helps to improve product security.
Tyson also stated that Facebook regularly makes some changes to the program so that researchers are comfortable with the rewards. A good example is the automation of the reward system. The company also supports bitcoins as a payment option.
Facebook stock closed the latest trading session at $127.82.