The Facebook has decided to help security researchers by adding to their accounts a new special option, called "Whitehat Setitngs".
But how can this new option look to the researchers? By introducing a mechanism that allows you to bypass the Facebook security mechanism, Certificate Pinning.
Certificate Pinning is for protection. However, with the introduction of the new Whitehat Setitngs, researchers are given the opportunity to access an account if they need to check something. This is because with the new setting, Facebbok will "break" Certificate Pinning for that particular setting account.
Facebook took this action because the researchers were having trouble circumventing the security mechanism.
The new “Whitehat Settings” option will be available on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. However, it is only supported on Facebook's Android apps and not iOS. The new feature has its own settings (disable Facebook TLS 1.3 support, use certificates, embedded proxy).
How the Facebook decided to help security researchers?
Facebook has always been on the side of the infosec community and is one of the few companies that actively supports security research. It has its own bug bounty program and offers security tools.
Lately, Facebook has been at the center of leakage. After the scandals do that it can to enhance security on the central platform as well as on mobile applications. It has extensively expanded its bug bounty program and has provided large sums of money to researchers who discover vulnerabilities on its platform and its other applications. It also offers fees (up to 40.000 dollars) to researchers who discover significant vulnerabilities that cause users to lose control of accounts and seizure by hackers.