Facebook Opens Hunting Season for Oculus Rift Bugs

The social network figured that instead of spending time to find the bugs of its first hardware product on its own, it’s better off paying security researchers to do so.

Facebook is taking the easy way out on this, in an attempt to make its VR goggles as safe as possible. After all, no matter how good your software developers are, it’s always better to rely on the masses for finding problems faster, and (why not admit it?) cheaper. Facebook’s Oculus Rift bug bounty program implies rewards of at least $500 for anyone who discovers any bugs in the VR headset. A maximum limit hasn’t been established yet, but I assume that the amount is correlated with the gravity of the bug.

Neal Poole, security engineer at Facebook, pointed out that most bugs are found in the messaging system of the headset, as well as in the website. As he explained, “A lot of the issues that come up with Oculus are not necessarily in the hardware yet. Potentially in the future, if people were to go explore and find issues in the SDK or the hardware, that is definitely of interest to us.”

In other words, Facebook is looking into the software issues of the headset. My guess is that the social network’s security engineers either don’t have any idea about what bugs Oculus Rift might have, or the company doesn’t want to spend that much time and/or money on having its own employees working on the problem.

With this news also resurfaced people’s feedback towards the acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook. Most people didn’t agree with this, and went as far as claiming that the acquisition meant the end of Oculus Rift.

In other news, a newly discovered Oculus Rift hack enables Netflix users to watch House of Cards in their own private cinema. That’s definitely better than watching a movie on a tablet in bed, but there also are some downsides to it. Only one person can wear the VR headset at a time, so you can’t enjoy watching Netflix with your significant other, for example. I’m sure that other hacks will be discovered soon, and even more so after the headset hits the market.

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