Apple pays teenager for discovery of Group FaceTime bug with bug bounty, scholarship

Posted:
in iOS
Apple has confirmed it is going to reward the 14-year-old who discovered the Group FaceTime surveillance exploit, providing the family with compensation for finding the bug as well as helping towards the teenager's future education costs.

Grant Thompson (right) with mother Michelle
Grant Thompson (right) with mother Michelle


Confirming a suggestion floated by an Apple executive on Monday, Apple is going to be paying the family of Grant Thompson, the teenager who initially discovered and reported the bug to Apple. Thompson's mother Michelle attempted to warn Apple about the exploit a week before it become major news, with tweets prompting Apple to acknowledge the issue and the discovery, and to temporarily disable the function.

It is unclear exactly how much Apple is providing Thompson, but Reuters reports Apple would "compensate" the family and make an additional gift towards Grant's education. If the compensation element is part of the company's Bug Bounty program, the amount could be anywhere between $25,000 and $200,000, though it is likely to be on the lower end of the scale.

The release notes for iOS 12.1.4 also includes an acknowledgement of the discovery, crediting Grant alongside another individual identified as Draven Morris.

The exploit was relatively simple to induce. The caller starts a FaceTime video call with a contact, then while the call is "ringing," they add themselves to the call as a third party by tapping Add Person and entering their own phone number. If properly executed, a Group FaceTime call is started and the original recipient's audio begins to stream before the call is accepted.

Today's iOS 12.1.4 update, as well as a supplemental update for macOS Mojave, fixes the security hole on iPhones, iPads, and Mac. Apple has already taken steps to fix the issue on its servers.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,567member
    Good move!
    bb-15airnerdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Apple should guarantee him a job when he graduates.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    Good idea, unless he decides to be a pig farmer for a living.
    neo-techmobirdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    hentaiboy said:
    Apple should guarantee him a job when he graduates.
    Why, just because he was lucky to find the bug? He's already getting a bounty, if he really wants to work for Apple he can study and demonstrate he's Apple talent material.
    racerhomie3HeliBumjbishop1039mwhitemacxpressgilly33mobirdagilealtitudeuraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    Do the current iOS and macOS betas have the fix?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    HeliBum said:
    Do the current iOS and macOS betas have the fix?
    The updates have shipped.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Good idea, unless he decides to be a pig farmer for a living.
    Spoken like someone who has no life experience and even less compassion and humility for the human condition. Sadly, this is the kind of ilk parents are squirting out these days. 
    gutengelMplsPairnerd
  • Reply 8 of 15
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,567member
    Good idea, unless he decides to be a pig farmer for a living.
    said by someone who has no idea what farming entails...
    airnerdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,173member
    hentaiboy said:
    Apple should guarantee him a job when he graduates.

    Why the hell should they guarantee him a job? Cause he accidentally found a bug? I mean, wow. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    MplsP said:
    Good idea, unless he decides to be a pig farmer for a living.
    said by someone who has no idea what farming entails...
    I wouldn't worry about it. I don't think Apple raises pigs.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 664member
    Good move by Apple, the story went national (international maybe) and now so will this.  

    I agree that they shouldn't guarantee him a job, but maybe let him know if he chooses to go down that tech path they would put him at the front of the line for an internship interview.  Doesn't give any guarantees but let's him know there is a future there if he wants to work for it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,958member
    Meanwhile, even though he got his college tuition partially paid for while inviting friends to play Fortnite, his Meany-Mom still shuts off his WiFi when its time for Homework or bed!   Life just isn't fair to kids!    LOL...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    Good idea, unless he decides to be a pig farmer for a living.
    Even if he does decide to take up pig farming for a living.  Because farming ain't cheap.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 15
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,958member
    Good idea, unless he decides to be a pig farmer for a living.
    Oh boy!   Looks like you got the pig farmers all riled up!

    Hey!  Pig Farmers got pride ya know!   
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Good idea, unless he decides to be a pig farmer for a living.
    Oh boy!   Looks like you got the pig farmers all riled up!

    Hey!  Pig Farmers got pride ya know!   
    It is more than just pride, a modern day farmer is well educated and at the forefront of technology.   I know of two locally with engineering degrees.  One even designed and built solar powered housing back in the 1970’s.  Not to mention a large number of innovative machines to keep business efficient.  

    Beyond that have you you guys ever checked out the farmers daughters.   They grow some mighty fine woman in the country.  
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