A 10-year-old Finnish kid won $10,000 for hacking Instagram,
A precocious youth has won a $10,000 bug bounty from Facebook after he figured out a way to delete other users’ comments from Instagram’s servers, Mashable reports.
The youngster, a 10-year-old Finnish kid named Jani, claimed the security flaw he discovered could even allow him to delete Justin Bieber’s Instagram comments and captions, should he feel so inclined. Jani showed off his hack to the Instagram team by deleting a comment they posted on a test account. As the boy’s father told the Finnish news site Iltalehti, Jani and his twin brother are fairly prolific at poking holes in seemingly secure websites, but the Instagram hack was their biggest to date.
The boy told Iltalehti that he could delete what people wrote on the picture-sharing social media, demonstrating it to Instagram by deleting a comment they made on a test account. Jani said he could even delete Justin Bieber’s comments with the flaw he found.
According to the boy’s father, Jani and his twin brother have found security flaws in websites before, but they haven’t been significant enough to justify a payout, until this one.
Facebook’s bug bounty program welcomes anyone to find bugs and flaws, and offers cash rewards to problems that are significant, similar to Google’s own security rewards program. According to the most recent release from Facebook, the company received over 13,000 submissions from researchers in 2015 alone, 526 of which were valid reports.
The $10,000 prize was part of Facebook’s Bug Bounty program, which offers rewards to White Hat hackers and other researchers who find bugs or security flaws in their code. In 2015, Facebook reportedly paid out $936,000 to 210 different researchers, out of a grand total of 13,000 submissions. 102 of those submissions were considered “high impact.”