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Facebook Paid $880,000 in Bug Bounties in 2017

Facebook received over 12,000 vulnerability submissions in 2017 and ended up paying $880,000 in bug bounties to security researchers.

Facebook received over 12,000 vulnerability submissions in 2017 and ended up paying $880,000 in bug bounties to security researchers.

Of the large number of received submissions, however, just over 400 reports were found valid during the bug bounty program’s sixth year. Last year, Facebook also paid larger bounties to the submitting researchers, as the average reward per submission increased to almost $1,900, up from $1,675 in 2016.

The number of security researchers participating in the company’s bug bounty program also increased, Jack Whitton, Security Engineer with Facebook’s Product Security team, explains in a blog post. 32% of the researchers who received a reward last year submitted for the first time in 2017.

The largest bounty the company has paid to date is a $40,000 reward for ImageTragick, a remote code execution vulnerability introduced by the ImageMagick image processing suite. Last year, the company also paid a $10,000 bounty for a critical vulnerability that could result in deleting any photo from the social media network.

The largest number of valid submissions in 2017, Facebook says, came out of India. The United States ended up on the second position, followed by Trinidad & Tobago in the third place.

Facebook acknowledged more than 100 researchers as part of the bug bounty program in 2017. 

“Going forward, we are going to take a number of things into consideration: dollar amount, submission validity, and more. We’re doing this to continue to encourage high-quality submissions, and we will be offering new perks to our top participants such as swag and prizes, access to exclusive events and new features,” Whitton explains.

He also reveals that Facebook is planning on investing more resources into getting more timely responses and payments to researchers in 2018.

Researchers interested in submitting reports as part of Facebook’s bug bounty program are encouraged to follow the best practices the company is listing at facebook.com/whitehat/resources.

“After celebrating our 6th anniversary, we paid out over $880,000 to researchers last year, bringing our total paid out to over $6,300,000,” Whitton says.

Facebook launched its bug bounty program in 2011 and paid over $5 million to researchers by October 2016.

Related: Facebook Flaw Allowed Removal of Any Photo

Related: Facebook Awards $40,000 Bounty for ImageTragick Hack

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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