While most 10-year-olds are busy doing homework and playing games, this 10-year-old from Finland was recently rewarded with US$10,000 from Facebook. he discovered a security flaw in Instagram, a photo-sharing social network owned by Facebook.
Called Jani, he found a flaw that allowed him to delete any text on Instagram posts simply by altering codes on Instagram servers. Jana told Iltalehti, a Finnish publication, “I would have been able to eliminate anyone, even Justin Bieber”.
After his discovery, Jani then sent in a report to Facebook via email, and verified his finding by deleting a comment the company posted on a test account. The flaw has been patched in late February, and in March, Facebook gave Jani his reward.
Jani is now the youngest recipient of Facebook’s whitehat hacker. The bug bounty program was launched in 2011 and since then, the company has awarded over US$4.3 million to more than 800 researchers. The previous youngest recipient of this bounty was a 13-year-old youngster.
Jani told the Finnish publication that he plans to use his reward to buy a new bike, football, and of course new computers to help him achieve his dream of being a security expert. According to his father, Jani and his brother started to learn about hacking thanks to YouTube videos. They have uncovered several bugs before, but this Instagram flaw is the biggest to date.