A ten-year-old Finnish boy won $10,000 from Facebook after finding a coding flaw in Instagram that allowed him to delete other people's comments from posts.
As part of Facebook's "bug bounty" program, hackers who find vulnerabilities in Facebook and its subsidiaries are rewarded in cash. Jani, whose parents preferred not to give reporters his last name, is the youngest person ever to be rewarded under the program.
“I tested whether the comments section of Instagram can handle harmful code," he told Finnish paper Iltahleti, according to The Guardian. "Turns out it can’t. I noticed that I can delete other people’s comments from there,” the young hacker said. “I could have deleted anyone’s–like Justin Bieber’s for example–comments.”
A spokesperson for Facebook, Melanie Ensign, told The Washington Post that the loophole Jani found “would have impacted everybody on Instagram.” As a result, his reward was close to ten times larger than the average reward handed out under the program. Jani plans to buy a football, a bicycle and computers for himself and his twin brother, the newspaper reported.