Bengaluru-based hacker Anand Prakash has been awarded $15,000 (approximately Rs 10 lakh) for finding a bug in Facebook’s login system. The bug, if exploited, could let hackers access a user’s messages, photos and even debit/credit card details stored in the payments section, among others.
In a blog post, Prakash — who also works as a security analyst at Flipkart — said Facebook acknowledged the issue promptly and fixed it.
Prakash sent the bug report to the Facebook security team on February 22 and received a mail about the reward on March 2.
This is what he posted on the blog:
“Whenever a user forgets his password on Facebook, he has an option to reset the password by entering his phone number/ email address on https://www.facebook.com/login/identify?ctx=recover&lwv=110, Facebook will then send a 6 digit code on his phone number/email address which user has to enter in order to set a new password.
I tried to brute the 6 digit code on www.facebook.com and was blocked after 10-12 invalid attempts. Then I looked out for the same issue on beta.facebook.com and mbasic.beta.facebook.com and interestingly (the) rate limiting was missing on forgot password endpoints. I tried to take over my account (as per Facebook’s policy you should not do any harm on any other users account) and was successful in setting new password for my account. I could then use the same password to login in the account.”
Prakash’s award of $15,000 was towards the high end of the payment spectrum as the average payout for identifying bugs in the system in 2015 was $1,780. Hackers from India, Egypt, and Trinidad & Tobago lead the bounty payout programme.