10-Year-Old Finds Instagram Glitch, Receives $10,000 Reward

May 10, 2016 4:03 pm  |  Comments: 1  | Views: 4766

A 10-year-old Finnish hacker has been awarded $10,000 after he found a glitch on Instagram, the popular photo sharing app Facebook bought for a reported $1 billion in 2012.

Jani, whose last name has not been released, discovered a way to delete any given comment on Instagram. He told Iltalehti—the Finland news outlet that broke the story—that he could delete any user’s comment, citing Justin Bieber as just one example. Jani tipped off Facebook about the problem, which the company says it fixed in February.

To prove the flaw was legitimate, Facebook created a test account and posted a comment. Jani promptly deleted it. That makes him the youngest person to receive a reward through Facebook’s Bug Bounty program. Before Jani, the youngest recipient was 13 years old.

Since launching the Bug Bounty program in 2011, Facebook says it has awarded $4.3 million to more than 800 researchers around the world. In order to determine the award amount, Facebook addresses the risk attached to each security threat it receives. In 2015, the average payout was $1,780. Jani received more than five times that amount.

Jani’s hack was also ethical. While Instagram’s terms of use do stipulate that a user must be at least 13 years old, the hack did not require him to sign in or create an account of his own. Facebook has previously denied rewards to hackers who found actual flaws, but violated the usage terms to do so.


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