Facebook introduces bug disclosure program but no payment for third-party flaws

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Facebook has announced that it is to offer a monetary bounty to researchers who reveal bugs and flaws.

On the eve of the US Black Hat conference, the social network announced that it will ‘offer a monetary bounty for certain qualifying security bug'. In terms of eligibility, submissions must adhere to the Facebook responsible disclosure policy, should be reported if they could compromise the integrity or privacy of Facebook user data and contributors reside in a country not under any current US Sanctions.

It also said that any disclosure must be made privately before being made public and effort must be made to avoid privacy violations, destruction of data and interruption or degradation of its service during research. If this inspection is passed, a typical bounty of $500 (£305) will be paid per bug.

However bugs in third-party applications or websites will not be eligible for a bounty, nor will denial-of-service vulnerabilities, spam or social engineering techniques or bugs in Facebook's corporate infrastructure.

The move was welcomed by Paul Ducklin, head of technology at Sophos Asia Pacific, who said that the figure is in line with what Google offers which it said it copied from Mozilla.

He said: “Higher figures are for more serious bugs, something Facebook also says it will pay extra for. Facebook has definitely taken a step in the right direction here and its ‘budget price' for bugs matches what other industry giants are offering.

“The bad news is that Facebook is only interested in security reports to do with explicit web coding flaws, such as XSS (cross-site scripting) bugs or code injection faults. Bugs or shortcomings in the company's general attitude to security don't count.”

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