Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has happily paid a nice bounty payout to a hacker named Abhibandu. The hacker had discovered a new way to very easily hack into unverified Facebook accounts. In a blog post, he explained exactly how he hacked into the unverified accounts on the social networking platform. When new users sign up for a new account, they receive an email from Facebook to verify who they are. The account remains unverified until the new user checks this email and either clicks on the embedded link or punches the 5-digit code.
New Facebook users should promptly verify their account
Abhibandu successfully created a program that could guess the 5-digit code in less than 15 minutes. That means if a new user doesn’t verify her or his Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) account immediately, a hacker could take it over. But this tactic worked only for unverified accounts, which are mostly new. Therefore, Abhibandu had the challenge of finding a suitable (hackable) account.
He had two ways to do this. One, guess with an email address until the website asked to confirm the account. Two, by searching for email addresses on the platform to see if they have been verified. When you use an email address that already has an unverified Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) account, you get this response (image below). The click on “Insert the confirmation code instead” and there you have it.
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Instead of using his skills to harass other Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users, Abhibandu reported this hack to the social networking giant. Facebook responded in just 8 hours and said it would investigate the issue. The Menlo Park-based company fixed the issue within three days, and decided that Abhibandu deserves a handsome bounty payout.
A tool that hacked Facebook users who tried to hack their friends’ accounts
However, not everyone is a Good Samaritan like Abhibandu. Late last month, an online tool became very popular on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The tool developer promised users that they could hack their friends’ Facebook accounts using this tool. When people used this tool to hack their friends’ Facebook accounts, they found that their own accounts had been hacked.
NOTE: If your Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) account was hacked, you can learn here how to recover your account.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares were down 0.20% to $63.70 at 10:00 AM EDT on Friday.