Home Security Operations Nepali Hacker Achieves Hall of Fame Status for Reporting Facebook’s Zero-Click Flaw

Nepali Hacker Achieves Hall of Fame Status for Reporting Facebook’s Zero-Click Flaw

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Nepali Hacker Achieves Hall of Fame Status for Reporting Facebook’s Zero-Click Flaw

In a groundbreaking discovery, Nepali bug bounty hunter Samip Aryal unveiled a zero-click vulnerability within Facebook’s password reset system, potentially granting unauthorized access to any targeted account. This impressive feat not only positioned Aryal at the top of the renowned Facebook Hall of Fame for White-Hat Hackers 2024 rankings but also earned him a substantial bug bounty, the exact amount of which remains undisclosed.

Aryal’s exploration led him to identify a loophole in Facebook’s password reset functionality that allowed him to bypass the system’s rate-limiting feature, enabling the potential exploitation of 6-digit security codes (ranging from 000000 to 999999) for a duration of two hours. By exploiting this flaw, hackers could execute “zero-click” attacks without the need for user interaction, posing a severe security risk to Facebook users.

In his detailed blog post, Aryal meticulously outlined the steps he took to uncover the vulnerability, highlighting a vulnerable endpoint he identified while testing various Facebook versions on Android Studio. By exploiting this endpoint, Aryal was able to trigger a password reset flow that offered users the option to receive a security code via Facebook notification, which remained active for a two-hour window, allowing attackers to brute force their way into accounts.

Utilizing a brute-force attack methodology, Aryal demonstrated how attackers could exploit the vulnerability by manipulating the security code retrieval process, ultimately compromising user accounts within a relatively short timeframe. The vulnerability presented a significant risk of personal information theft, disinformation dissemination, and potential network attacks, underscoring the critical need for robust security measures on social media platforms.

Upon discovering the flaw, Aryal promptly notified Facebook of the issue on January 30, 2024, leading to a swift resolution by the platform’s security team, who successfully patched the vulnerability by February 2. The timely intervention mitigated the risk posed by the exploit, safeguarding users from potential account takeovers and data breaches.

In light of the increasing frequency of cyber threats targeting social media platforms like Meta (formerly Facebook), users are advised to prioritize security best practices, such as enabling two-factor authentication, using strong and unique passwords, and remaining vigilant against suspicious password reset requests. By staying informed about emerging security threats and exercising caution online, users can fortify their defenses against potential cyber attacks.

Recent incidents involving fake ChatGPT extensions and DarkGate malware attacks targeting Meta accounts serve as stark reminders of the ever-present threat landscape facing social media users. By adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity and staying abreast of evolving threats, individuals can protect themselves against malicious actors seeking to exploit vulnerabilities for nefarious purposes.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, cybersecurity remains a paramount concern, requiring collective efforts from users, platform providers, and security researchers to mitigate risks and uphold a secure online environment. With ongoing vigilance and adherence to best practices, individuals can navigate the digital realm safely and confidently, ensuring their privacy and security are safeguarded against potential threats.

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