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Manipuri guy finds security hole in Whatsapp that could impact billions of users, company rewarded him

Whatsapp has been a sensational hit ever since it’s inception. It has reached out to all snippets of the world with over 1 billion active people using the messenger every month. Whatsapp hits more than 22 crore active users in India quite recently and it is obvious that the numbers will go skyrocketing in the days to come.

One can share useful information with others in the group or in the personal chat box. With so many interesting things to share on the platform, WhatsApp serves as a user-friendly application. You can send pictures, attach documents, do video calling (one-to-one), forward videos, contacts and so on. Everybody is well aware of this.

Credits: Google

As we are getting so dependent and used to online services like Facebook, WhatsApp, Google and other social media platforms, we must make sure that these platforms are safe and secure for our own sake.

Recently, a 22-year-old civil engineer, hailing from Manipur named Zonel Sougaijam shot into fame as he just alerted WhatsApp about a security hole and because of his efforts which he put towards reporting the bug to the Whatsapp team, he got rewarded.

As per a PTI report, Facebook has honoured and rewarded the Manipuri guy for stumbled upon a WhatsApp bug that could have easily breached any user’s privacy and thank god it’s because of him, the problem has been sorted out.

So how did the Manipuri guy help make WhatsApp safer? This is a bid similar to the Kerala student who also found a bug during a WhatsApp voice call, which would let caller to switch to video call without even alerting the receiver.

This bug surely could have caused a massive privacy breach of millions of WhatsApp users, which is why Facebook (WhatsApp’s parent company) planned to celebrate Sougaijam’s critical thinking.

Facebook rewarded Zonel Sougaijam US $5000 (3.5 lakh Indian rupees) for his thorough investigative work, and also honoured him by adding his name in their Hall of Fame for white hackers. Interestingly, he is currently 16th on that list.

The Manipuri whitehack added that after he emailed his report to the Facebook Security team, they started working on it and soon fixed the critical WhatsApp bug within three weeks. Thanks to Zonel Sougaijam.

Written by Sagar Abhinandan

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