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Facebook Awarded Prize Worth $200K to Internet Defense Winners

Recently, the American social networking service company Facebook declared the winners of its annual Internet Defense Prize for research papers that illuminated the topics of internet security and privacy. A prize of $200,000 was rewarded to the winner on the first position along with endowing grants worth $800,000 to the security and privacy researchers last week. Now, the company substantially has completed its goal to invest a total of $1 million headed for securing the internet.

A team from Belgium who wrote “Who Left Open the Cookie jar?” which is a comprehensive evaluation of third-party cookie policies, took $100,000 as a reward for the first place. This research paper has projected developments to browser security that would enable the users to be less susceptible for having their internet trail traced from site to site.

The research teams from U.S. and China stood on second and third place respectively, taking home prize money of $60,000 and $40,000 each. Their research papers were based on the study of cryptography used in app development and for supporting the algorithm behind single sign-on security systems.

The spate of this defense prize is going on since past 4 years, this year, however, the figure has been multiplied 4 times of the original amount of $50,000 to $200,000, spread amid three groups. As per one of the statements by Facebook, this increase in prize money signifies the company’s constant attention towards internet security and privacy and also the excellent quality of work submitted.

Facebook’s Security Communications Manager, Pete Voss, told one of the websites, “Over the years we’ve gotten higher and higher quality of submissions. But, the criteria has always been the same, and that’s making practical research. Making this go beyond theory and making it so you can actually apply security in real life.”

The receivers of the ‘Secure the Internet’ grants worth $800,000 was distributed amongst 10 teams. All the teams submitted different researches ranging from sociological approaches to more technical ones such as strengthening the encryption methods. Two of the researches were named “Understanding the Use of Hijacked Facebook Accounts in the Wild” and “Enhancing Online & Offline Safety during Internet Disruptions in Times of War”.

Expressing about other projects of Facebook, Voss told, currently, they are not having any plans just like last year they have laid out its $1 million goals. However, they are always open for “looking at incentivizing this kind of researches” and rendering support.

Currently, running in bullish pattern as per Nasdaq, this social networking giant, founded in 2004, has recently seen a decline in its share prices. The most recent stock market fallouts can be seen in the graph.


Nonetheless, Facebook is always loved by its users and the same has increased substantially. Its usage penetration, recently, among users is above 80 percent. Until the end of the end of the second quarter of 2018, Facebook had around 2.20 billion monthly active users. Its growth, from 2008 to the second quarter of 2018, is depicted below.