A US teenager who discovered a security flaw in Apple’s FaceTime video-calling system has been given a bug bounty. Apple has not revealed the exact amount it is giving 14-year-old Grant Thompson but it is believed to include money to help pay for his education. The teenager found a bug that meant he could briefly eavesdrop on recipients to a group FaceTime call. The reward comes as one security researcher refused to tell Apple about a bug because no bounty was on offer.
Information about the bug first emerged in late January and revealed that some Apple users could secretly listen to people they called via FaceTime even if the recipient did not accept the call. Apple deemed it so serious that it disabled the group FaceTime feature while it investigated and produced a fix.
News reports about the problem initially said it was just being discussed on social media and did not credit any individual with its discovery. Later, it emerged that Apple had been warned about it earlier in January by Grant and his mother. The teenager uncovered the problem when using FaceTime to talk about strategies for the Fortnite game with friends.