Arun S Kumar, the only Indian in Facebook’s Hall of Fame of white hat hackers, received Rs 10 lakh ($16,000) on Monday after finding out a bug in the Facebook code. This bounty programme was started by Facebook in 2011, which gives rewards to people who are able to notify the social networking site about the flaws in the coding of its website.
Arun is a 20-year-old engineering student in Chathannoor’s MES Institute of Technology and Management. He exposed and informed facebook a critical bug in the Facebook Business Manager that could allow hackers to take control over any Facebook page in less than 10 seconds. In an interview with ToI, Arun said that since the hacker would be able to manipulate the page of any facebook user, it could lead to a damage beyond imagination.
Arun had the bug reported to the Facebook security team on August 29 and the bug was fixed by September 6. The security team wrote a letter to Arun telling him how his discovery had helped prevent a massive security breach and of their decision of rewarding him. Earlier Arun had also spotted many bugs in Google and Facebook. In April, Facebook had rewarded his work with a prize of Rs 7 lakh. Arun has received about Rs 30.85 lakh in bounty for hunting down bugs and reporting them in the last 3 years.
A native of Mundakkal at Kollam, Arun is just one year away from completing his degree. He wishes to use all his prize money to fund his study abroad.