Facebook is shelling out more than £1,000 a day to hacking experts, who identify software bugs that could be exploited by hackers.
It has launched a "Bug Bounty" scheme, which in its first three weeks has already dished out almost £25,000 – with one individual bagging £4,300 after exposing six potentially harmful bugs. Another hacking expert – or "White Hat" as they are known in the industry, netted £3,000 for making “one really good report”, according to Facebook’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan.
“The program has also been great because it has made our site more secure – by surfacing issues large and small, introducing us to novel attack vectors, and helping us improve lots of corners in our code” he said.
Although it has received plenty of bogus tip offs since launching the scheme, Facebook says it will continue with the project as it looks to tighten site security overall.
"There are many talented and well-intentioned security experts around the world who don’t work for Facebook," added Sullivan.
"Over the years, we have received excellent support from independent researchers who have let us know about bugs they have found."
“We established this bug bounty program in an effort to recognise and reward these individuals for their good work and encourage others to join”.
Sullivan called the programme “the world’s best neighbourhood watch programme”.
However, there is already criticism to suggest that Facebook’s Bug Bounty programme does not go far enough, because it does not cover the thousands of third-party games and apps on the site, which web security firms openly believe to be the largest threat to the privacy of Facebook users.
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