A 10 year old found a bug in Instagram and got paid R147 000

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Like most boys his age, Jani likes looking for bugs. But these aren’t the squishy insects other 10 year old boys use to scare their mothers, they’re computer bugs, the sort that can really mess up your day if encountered.

Jani, a Finnish boy from Helsinki, discovered a flaw on Instagram with which he could delete the comments of other users back in February. We should point out at this point that Jani is 10, three years shy of Instagram’s minimum age requirement for membership.

Upon discovery of the bug Jani sent an email to Facebook (which owns Instagram) explaining what he had found. The security team at the firm set Jani up with a test account to prove his claim and lo and behold, he proved it.

As is the norm with these bug bounty programmes, the bug finder is eligible for a reward which in this case amounts to $10 000 (R147 355,48) and makes him the youngest-ever recipient of a bug bounty prize.

Bug bounties are a way for companies like Facebook to tempt would-be hackers to share security flaws and bugs they find with the firm rather than black hat hackers. You know, the not-so-nice kind.

According to the BBC, the bug Jani found has already been patched, so your friends’ comments about your lunch are probably safe, for now.

The big question we had was what Jani will be doing with the money, seeing as Facebook has said he’s been paid.

Well the BBC reports that Jani told Finnish newspaper Iltalehti that he plans to buy a new bike, football equipment and new computers, for his brothers. What a nice kid, right?

Well done Jani; just keep that white hacking hat of yours on, we need more bug hunters like yourself.

[Via – BBC] [Image – Instagram]


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.