A 22-year-old civil engineer from Manipur has made it to the Facebook’s “Hall of Fame 2019” for detecting a WhatsApp bug that violated the privacy of a user. Zonel Sougaijam said the social media giant awarded $5,000 (approximately Rs 3.4 lakh) for the discovery, PTI reported.
“During a voice call through WhatsApp, the bug used to allow the caller to upgrade it to a video call without the authorisation and knowledge of the receiver,” Sougaijam told PTI. “The caller was then able to see what the other person was doing, violating the privacy of the receiver.”
Sougaijam is currently at the 16 position in a list of 96 people in Facebook’s list for this year.
In March, Sougaijam had reported the bug to Facebook through its Bug Bounty Program that investigates security vulnerability on Facebook and its other companies. He said his report was acknowledged by the Facebook Security team the next day itself and then the technical department fixed the bug within 15 to 20 days.
“After reviewing this issue, we have decided to award you a bounty of $5,000,” Facebook said in an e-mail sent to Sougaijam, according to PTI.
Sougaijam said he found his name in the Facebook ‘Hall of Fame’ page this month.
Facebook had acquired Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. The company has been embroiled in data privacy concerns and political implications of its algorithms over the last few years.