A 10 year old from Finland revealed a bug in Photosharing social network Instagram and was rewarded with $10000. Despite the fact that he is too young to register an account on Instagram or Facebook, the Helsinki-based boy genius discovered that he could infiltrate Instagram and demonstrate the hack without even logging into an account.
According to Finnish publication Iltalehti, Jani (whose last name has not been released) discovered that he could alter code on Instagram’s servers to force delete users’ comments and captions. “I would have been able to eliminate anyone, even Justin Bieber,” Jani told the publication.
After he verified his report by deleting a comment the company posted on a test account, a Facebook spokesperson told Forbes that the bug was fixed in late February and awarded him $10,000 (£6,910) in March. According to the spokesperson, the loophole was found in a private application programming interface that was not checking whether the person deleting the comment was the same user who posted it.
The $10,000 prize is a part of Facebook’s Bug Bounty programme that offers handsome rewards to White Hat hackers and researchers who find bugs or glitches in their digital infrastructure, including Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. The programme has reportedly received more than 2,400 valid submissions since its launch five years ago and has awarded more than $4.3m to over 800 researchers.