After initially not rewarding the 14-year-old teenager who found the Group FaceTime bug, Apple has decided to contribute towards his further education. The Group FaceTime eavesdropping bug was first discovered by Grant Thompson of Arizona. His mother had first informed Apple about the bug 10 days before it was picked up by media outlets.
Apart from compensating the family towards Grant’s education, Apple will also be giving him additional gifts. Apple does run a bug bounty program, though it is unclear if Grant’s family will be compensated on the basis of that. Apple has also credited the Thompson family in its security log for finding the Group FaceTime bug.
An unnamed high-level Apple executive had met Grant Thompson and his mother in Arizona soon after news about the bug first broke. He had hinted that the Thompson family might be eligible for the bug bounty program. It is important to note that Apple’s bug bounty program is invite-only so with the current set of rules, Apple will be making an exception to give Grant Thompson any kind of compensation. However, given the severity of the bug, it makes sense to a certain extent.
Apple released the iOS 12.1.4 update yesterday to fix the Group FaceTime bug a week after it was first reported. The bug posed a major privacy issue which led Apple to turn off Group FaceTime until it rolled out a fix. Even now, Apple is only making Group FaceTime feature available to iPhone users running iOS 12.1.4 or greater.