Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

8/19/2019
05:20 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Instagram Added to Facebook Data-Abuse Bounty Program

Social media giant also launches invitation-only bug bounty program for 'Checkout on Instagram'.

Instagram users aware of a third-party application developer misusing their personal data can now report the activity to the company and potentially earn a reward for it.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, on Monday expanded its Data Abuse Bounty program to Instagram in a continuing effort to crack down on application developers and other third parties that are misusing user data on the company's social media platforms.

The issue has become a huge liability for Facebook. The US Federal Trade Commission recently fined Facebook a record-breaking $5 billion for allowing app developers and other third parties to access and use user data without proper notice and often in violation of the user's explicit privacy preferences.

The best known example of this is London-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica's controversial use of Facebook data to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election. More recently, cybersecurity firm UpGuard reported on finding two instances of third-party services improperly gathering data on tens of millions of Facebook users and then leaving the data exposed in unsecured storage buckets on Amazon's AWS.

Under Facebook's newly expanded program, the company will reward people who report a third-party app currently or formerly operating on Instagram that might have misused user data. Anyone can submit a report to the company under the program if they have "specific and direct" knowledge of such misuse, Facebook said.

Reports that lead to the discovery of what Facebook calls "significant actionable misuse" will be eligible for rewards. The actual reward amounts will vary based on the impact and scope of the reported misuse. Examples of misuse include any disclosure, buying, selling, or transferring of user data in a manner that violates Instagram's data use policies for third-party app developers.

Facebook has not set an upper-limit on the rewards that are available under the Instagram data abuse bounty program. In the past it has paid out as much as $40,000 for a single high-impact report.

Bug Bounty Program for 'Checkout on Instagram'

In addition to the Instagram data abuse bounty program, Facebook Monday said it has also separately invited a select group of security researchers to test the recent Checkout on Instagram feature for security vulnerabilities. The feature allows Instagram users to directly buy and pay for products that they might see in an ad within the app itself.

The security researchers will receive special access to the Instagram checkout feature and will receive bounties for any new bugs that they might discover. All of the researchers that have been invited to participate in the bug bounty program have previously found high-impact security issues on Facebook, the company said.

Facebook conducted a similar bug bounty exercise before rolling out FB5, its new design for the social media platform earlier this year. One of the researchers invited to test the new design later discovered a security issue in it would have allowed an attacker to remove another individual's profile picture.

"Our bug bounty program has been instrumental in helping us quickly detect new bugs, spot trends, and engage the best security talent outside of Facebook to help us keep the platform safe," a Facebook spokesperson said. "The lessons learned from each report feed back into our larger security effort, making us better and faster at finding, fixing, and preventing bugs."

So far, Facebook has paid independent bug hunters and third-party security firms over $7.5 million in rewards for finding bugs on its platform. "Our mission is to stay ahead and work both internally and with our external industry and security partners to catch any instance of these bugs across our platform," the spokeswoman said.

Related Content:


Check out 
The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: Modern Technology, Modern Mistakes

 

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19037
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
ext4_empty_dir in fs/ext4/namei.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 allows a NULL pointer dereference because ext4_read_dirblock(inode,0,DIRENT_HTREE) can be zero.
CVE-2019-19036
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
btrfs_root_node in fs/btrfs/ctree.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 allows a NULL pointer dereference because rcu_dereference(root->node) can be zero.
CVE-2019-19039
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
__btrfs_free_extent in fs/btrfs/extent-tree.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 calls btrfs_print_leaf in a certain ENOENT case, which allows local users to obtain potentially sensitive information about register values via the dmesg program.
CVE-2019-6852
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-200: Information Exposure vulnerability exists in Modicon Controllers (M340 CPUs, M340 communication modules, Premium CPUs, Premium communication modules, Quantum CPUs, Quantum communication modules - see security notification for specific versions), which could cause the disclosure of FTP har...
CVE-2019-6853
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-79: Failure to Preserve Web Page Structure vulnerability exists in Andover Continuum (models 9680, 5740 and 5720, bCX4040, bCX9640, 9900, 9940, 9924 and 9702) , which could enable a successful Cross-site Scripting (XSS attack) when using the products web server.