Zonel Sougaijam, a 22-year-old civil engineer, a Manipuri man was honoured by Facebook for discovering a WhatsApp bug that violated the privacy of a user. He said that the social media giant Facebook awarded $5000 to him and for detecting the WhatsApp bug it also included him in the ‘Facebook Hall of Fame 2019’. In the ‘Facebook Hall of Fame’ for this year, Mr Sougaijam’s name is currently at the 16th position in a list of 94 people.
Mr Sougaijam told that “during a voice call through WhatsApp, the bug used to allow the caller to upgrade it to a video call without the authorization and knowledge of the receiver. Violating the privacy of the receiver the caller was then able to see what the other person was doing”.
In March after discovering the bug, he had reported the matter to the Bug Bounty Program of the Facebook, which deals with the violation of privacy matters. His report was acknowledged by the Facebook Security team the very next day and within 15-20 days its technical department fixed the bug. Facebook said in an e-mail sent to Mr Sougaijam that “after reviewing this issue, we have decided to award you a bounty of $5000”.
Sougaijam said that he found his name in the Facebook ‘Hall of Fame’ page this month. The messaging service WhatsApp has been purchased for a staggering $19 billion in February 2014 by Facebook, owned by Mark Zuckerberg.