Facebook has announced that it paid 321 hackers worldwide last year over $1 million to help spot security flaws in the social network’s software. That brings the total amount of money awarded since the program started in 2011 to over $3 million.
Despite the spend in 2014 being lower than in 2013, there was actually an increase of 16 percent in the number of reports submitted to Facebook’s Bug Bounty program.
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“Every year we are surprised by what we learn from the security community, and 2014 was no exception,” Collin Greene, Facebook’s security engineer, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.
Researchers in India reported the highest number of bugs this year. This was followed by Egypt, the US, the UK and the Philippines. The amount of money paid out to researchers varies with the average amount awarded in 2014 being $1,788. The smallest payout was $500 and the largest was $30,000. Facebook also added new elements to the scope of the program in 2014 – Oculus and Moves.
These dangerous bugs are worth the money being spent though, with 61 of last year’s reported bugs being classified as high severity – that’s up 49 percent on 2013.