10-year-old gets $10,000 reward for reporting Instagram bug

Jani, a Finnish boy, is the youngest person to get payout for finding bug that allowed comments to be deleted

News Desk May 04, 2016

A 10-year-old Finnish schoolboy has received a $10,000 reward from Facebook after reporting a vulnerability in Instagram’s code.

The boy, Jani, spotted and reported a bug that allowed other people’s comments to be deleted, in February. He was paid the reward in March.

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The reward is part of the Facebook “bug bounty” programme, created in 2011, under which people who spot cracks in Facebook’s digital armour are given a prize. Instagram also became a part of the programme after Facebook purchased it in 2012.

The programme has paid over 4.3m to more than 800 people who have spotted bugs in the social network’s programming, according to a spokesperson for Instagram. However, at 10,  Jani is the youngest person ever to receive the bounty.

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“I tested whether the comments section of Instagram can handle harmful code. Turns out it can’t. I noticed that I can delete other people’s comments from there,” the young hacker told Iltalehti. “I could have deleted anyone’s – like Justin Bieber’s for example – comments.”

The 10-year-old has been interested in coding and video games for two years, according to Iltalehti.

Jani reportedly plans to buy a football and a new bicycle with the reward money.

This article originally appeared on The Guardian.


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