BUG BOUNTY

No one can beat Indians when it comes to finding flaws on Facebook

Quartz india
Quartz india

Clearly, India is a country of software engineers.

With 112 million users, India has the maximum number of Facebook users after the US—and many of them are doing more than just uploading pictures and snooping around on the social network.

Facebook users from India have found more bugs on the website than users from any other country for the second straight year.

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In 2014, Indian users reported 196 valid bugs on Facebook that earned them an average of $1,343 per bug in rewards.

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The Palo Alto-based company started its bug bounty program in July 2011. Users can report security issues on Facebook (including the companies it has acquired) and get money in return. The minimum reward is $500, and there is no maximum limit.

In 2014, Facebook received a total of 17,011 bug submissions, an increase of 16% from 2013. Out of the 17,011 reported bugs, 61 of them were classified as “high severity” by Facebook, an increase of 49% over last year.

The company spent $1.3 million on the 321 people who were able to flag security gaps. In all, it has spent more than $3 million in rewards since 2011.

Most big tech companies such as Google, Twitter and Microsoft have similar programs, helping them to keep their products secure while allowing those who report the bugs to earn some bragging rights—and sometimes, even a full-time job.

In 2013, Facebook gave $12,500 (Rs8,00,000) to a then 21-year-old engineering student, Arul Kumar, from Tamil Nadu’s Salem for spotting a photo-related glitch.

Typically, a photo could either be deleted by the owner of the account or by the Facebook team when others report it. Kumar, however, made a video to demonstrate how he can delete photos uploaded by others—and chose one of the photos posted by Mark Zuckerberg to illustrate the flaw.

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