First-year student Josip Franjković, an information technology major at RIT’s American College of Management and Technology in Zagreb, Croatia, is the recipient of awards from Google and Facebook for discovering security errors. He won multiple prizes and his name can be found on the Google Hall of Fame and Facebook’s Whitehat lists.
Google and Facebook both have reward programs for individuals who find errors in their systems. Started in 2010, Google’s Vulnerability Reward Program aims to increase the safety of its products. Google rewards individuals who find errors in the security systems and lists their name in the Hall of Fame. Facebook launched a similar rewards program for improved security in 2011.
The reward programs of both companies are intended to motivate users who have knowledge of Internet security to report any bugs that they find in the systems instead of exploiting them and selling them to third party sites, as this could have dangerous consequences such as the theft of the personal information of the websites’ users.
“My hobbies are the Internet and the security of Web applications, and I wish to work in that area in the future,” says Franjković. “I often compete in competitions with my international team of five members where such knowledge is demanded.”
To avoid legal issues, he advises that users seek a website’s permission before searching it for security flaws.
Franjković submitted three errors to Google that he discovered in the XSS, or cross-site scripting. For Facebook, he helped to point out a bug in the website’s caching system. Google and Facebook have awarded him more than $4,000 for his discoveries.
Internet security in Croatia is a concern of Franjković’s. “I hope to one day be employed in the security sector,” he says. “Currently, I’m planning to start a business with a few colleagues from college that will offer the possibility to test websites, find bugs in security systems and aid in the development of websites.”
Established in 1995, the American College of Management and Technology is the only educational institution in Croatia granting two diplomas—a Croatian degree and an American degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. With campuses in Dubrovnik and Zagreb, RIT/ACMT attracts students from all over Croatia and around the world. Currently, 30 percent of the student body is international students, with more than 70 students each year coming from RIT’s main campus to study at ACMT.