Monday November 18, 2019
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Facebook Honors Manipur Youth Engineer for Detecting Whatsapp Bug

The bug therefore allowed people to infringe on the privacy of users. Sougaijam's discovery helped Facebook fix a big security lapse

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Using social media apps like Facebook does have its own advantages and one such positive outcome is improving mental health among adults. VOA

Facebook has honoured a 22-year-old engineer from Manipur for detecting a bug on the instant messaging platform WhatsApp. The social networking giant awarded Zonel Sougaijam $5000 (roughly about Rs. 3.4 lakh) for the discovery and also included him in the “Facebook Hall of Fame 2019” that has so far included 96 people for “making a responsible disclosure” to Facebook.

Sougaijam discovered that during a voice call on the instant messaging platform, the bug allowed the receiver to upgrade it to a video call without the knowledge of the individual making the voice call. The bug therefore allowed people to infringe on the privacy of users. Sougaijam’s discovery helped Facebook fix a big security lapse.

WhatsApp bug
Ananthakrishna detected the bug that enabled other people to completely remove files on WhatsApp without knowledge of the user. Pixabay

“In fact during a WhatsApp’s video call say the other person turns his or her camera off for a reason and the video call gets paused, you can resume it without the other person even touching his or her smartphone,” Sougaijam wrote in a blog post.

“I came to know it was a serious bug and I reported right away to Facebook through the Facebook’s bug bounty programme where you can report bugs which poses security threat to Facebook related products.

“After few days of chatting about the bug and I also made a short video in which I explained to them how the bug is behaving. They told me that the bug was confirmed and they are working for a fix,” Sougaijam, who is a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) in Civil Engineering, added. And about two weeks later, Facebook informed Sougaijam that the bug has been fixed.

whatsapp bug
The bug therefore allowed people to infringe on the privacy of users. Sougaijam’s discovery helped Facebook fix a big security lapse. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Social Networking Giant Facebook Announces its First Interactive Game Show in India

“So, I checked myself and the bug got fixed,” he added. “The bounty amount is decided by the degree of severeness the bug possess, quality of the report and many other factors. The minimum amount which a person can get if his or her bug is identified as security threat is $500 which is roughly Rs 34,000,” Sougaijam informed.

Sougaijam is, however, not the only Indian who has made in to the Facebook Hall of Fame 2019. Rony K Roy and K.S. Ananthakrishna from Kerala are some of the other young Indians who have made it to the list. Ananthakrishna detected the bug that enabled other people to completely remove files on WhatsApp without knowledge of the user. (IANS)

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Wikipedia Co-founder Launching Social Media Website “WT: Social”

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social-media website named "WT: Social" which will compete Facebook and Twitter

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Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social media website names "WT: Social". Pixabay

Intended to get right what Facebook and Twitter have so far been getting wrong, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social-media website named “WT: Social” which will compete with both the social media platforms.

Instead of going for an ad-funded model, Wales aims to finance it through donations, just like Wikipedia.

Like those platforms, WT:Social will let users share articles. But WT:Social will be funded by donations, rather than advertising.

Wikipedia, Social Media
Like other social media platforms,Wikipedia’s WT:Social will let users share articles. Pixabay

“The business model of social media companies, of pure advertising, is problematic. It turns out the huge winner is low-quality content,” Wales was quoted as saying by Financial Times, according to an Engadget report.

It started as Wikitribune — a site that published original news stories with the community fact-checking and sub-editing articles. The venture never gained much traction, so Wales is moving it to the new platform with a more social networking focus.

Also Read- Questions Raised On End-to-End Encryption Of WhatsApp For Snooping

WT:Social will be free to join, but at the moment, you either have to sign up for a waitlist, donate or invite friends. Just a month old, it already has 50,000 users, the Engadget report added. (IANS)