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Facebook Awards 10-Year-Old $10K for Exposing Instagram Security Flaw

Facebook Gives 10yo $10K for Finding Instagram Bug



Happy birthday! Are you one? *Throws $1,000.* Are you two? *Throws $1,000.* Are you—

Anyway, yes, a ten-year-old kid exposed a security flaw in Instagram, and Facebook (which owns Instagram, in case you were not aware), rewarded the child’s ingenuity with literally $1,000 for every year he’s spent on Earth/getting smart enough to find bugs in social media apps with 400 million users. Meanwhile, when I was 10, I could make a pretty mean macaroni necklace.

Jani, the boy in question from Helsinki in Finland, may not even be old enough to register for a Facebook account, as Forbes points out, but he’s now the youngest person ever to nab a “bug bounty” from Facebook. Jani’s exploits were detailed in the Finnish publication Iltalehti, where he said, “I would have been able to eliminate anyone, even Justin Bieber.” Truly, he is doing the important work of our time. Jani for Nobel Prize.

OK, OK, but the actual bug he found was less strictly Bieber related and more a way that anyone could delete anyone else’s comments on Instagram. The problem was in coding that allowed outside app interface without properly checking to see whether the person deleting comments was the user who actually made them. Jani showed his work by deleting a comment from a test account set up by Instagram, and the bug was patched shortly after in February.

Jani’s not done, though, as he believes computer security is very important (it is), and his dream job would be a white hat hacker—hackers who dig for security flaws so that companies can patch them and keep us all safe. I’d say this makes for a pretty solid start.

(via The Verge, image via Instagram)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.