Apple to pay 14-year-old boy who spotted FaceTime bug

By TechnologyFOXBusiness

Apple rewards 14-year-old who discovered the FaceTime app bug

Apple is rewarding 14-year-old Arizona high school student Grant Thompson, along with his mother, Michelle, who discovered the FaceTime app’s eavesdropping bug. FOX Business’ Dagen McDowell reports Apple has patched the software flaw.

The 14-year-old boy who discovered the eavesdropping security flaw in Apple’s FaceTime video-calling system that made national headlines last week, is set to get a big undisclosed payout from the tech giant.

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Apple, which just released iOS 12.1.4 that includes a fix for the bug, said it also plans to compensate Grant Thompson, the Arizona-based teenager, who notified them about the problem in early January.

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Thompson said he discovered the flaw when he was able to hear his friends before they had even picked up phone when using FaceTime to discuss video games.

Without disclosing the exact amount, Apple said it plans on compensating Thompson for discovering the vulnerability and will also provide an additional gift to fund his education.

FILE- In this Jan. 31, 2019, file photo Grant Thompson and his mother, Michele, look at an iPhone in the family's kitchen in Tucson, Ariz., on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Apple has released an iPhone update to fix a FaceTime flaw that allowed people to

According to the Verge, Apple’s history with bug bounty rewards has been mixed over the years. The company originally paid out iOS bounties but many researchers have said they have been reluctant to help Apple recently as its rewards are not as valuable as elsewhere.

Earlier this week, one security researcher said he refused to submit an issue to Apple because they refused to pay for identification of macOS flaws, only iOS bugs.

While an Apple spokesperson did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment on the bug bounties, on Thursday it apologized to its customers regarding the FaceTime flaw.

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"We again apologize to our customers and we thank them for their patience. In addition to addressing the bug that was reported, our team conducted a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service and made additional updates to both the FaceTime app and server to improve security. This includes a previously unidentified vulnerability in the Live Photos feature of FaceTime. To protect customers who have not yet upgraded to the latest software, we have updated our servers to block the Live Photos feature of FaceTime for older versions of iOS and macOS."