Facebook has its fair share of problems when it comes to security and privacy. However, the company’s decade-old bug bounty program has proven to be a consistent safeguard in protecting users. And this year, Facebook offered one of its biggest rewards yet to security researchers who discovered a flaw in Facebook Messenger that could’ve allowed hackers to listen in to your calls.
The security loophole, discovered by Google’s Project Zero, thankfully would’ve been difficult for hackers to exploit. Still, the researchers were awarded $60,000 for their effort to identify it. According to Facebook, the flaw worked if hackers called a victim and simultaneously sent a “specially crafted, invisible message” to attack them.
“What you would see is the attacker calling you and then the phone ringing and they could listen until you pick up or the call times out,” Facebook security engineering manager Dan Gurfinkel told WIRED. “We quickly patched this before it was exploited.”
On the one hand, it’s great that Facebook has such a dedicated team of external researchers to help it out. On the other, it’s reasonable to wish that Facebook could handle more of its security problems on its own.
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