22-year-old Manipur Boy Discovers WhatsApp Privacy Bug, Wins Rs 3,47,000 Cash Prize And Enters Facebook 'Hall Of Fame'

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A 22-year-old Zonel Sougaijam, a civil engineer from Imphal, Manipur has got into Facebook's 'Hall of Fame' for the year 2019!

Written By Tech Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

A 22-year-old civil engineer from Imphal, Manipur has got into Facebook's 'Hall of Fame' for the year 2019! Social media giant Facebook has honoured Zonel Sougaijam for discovering a WhatsApp bug that violated the privacy of a user and awarded $5000 (Rs 3 lakh 47 thousand approximately) to him. Facebook also added Sougaijam to the 'Facebook Hall of Fame 2019.'

"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. The caller was then able to see what the other person was doing, violating the privacy of the receiver," said Sougaijam.

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After discovering the WhatsApp privacy bug in March, Sougaijam reported the matter to the Bug Bounty Program of Facebook, which deals with the violation of privacy matters. The report was further acknowledged by the Facebook Security team the very next day and its technical department fixed the bug in less than a month.

"After reviewing this issue, we have decided to award you a bounty of $5000," Facebook said in an e-mail sent to Sougaijam. Sougaijam found his name in the Facebook ' Hall of Fame' page this month.

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In the 'Facebook Hall of Fame' for this year. Sougaijam's name is currently at the 16th position in a list of 94 people.

Facebook's bug bounty program encourages users to find and report security vulnerabilities on Facebook and other Facebook-owned platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger among others and Facebook assures to act upon legitimate reports.

READ | WhatsApp security breach concerns 1.5 billion users, How to keep your WhatsApp up-to-date 

Recently, Facebook honoured 19-year-old engineering student from Kerala for spotting and reporting a bug in WhatsApp. Facebook offered a bug bounty of $500 (Rs 34,500 approximately) to KS Ananthakrishna. Apart from the prize, Ananthakrishna was also awarded recognition in the 'Facebook Hall of Fame' for the year 2019.

Last month, WhatsApp discovered a vulnerability that allowed spyware to be installed on the users' phone. WhatsApp urged its users worldwide to update their app to protect against "potential targeted exploits."

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