Finnish 10-Year-Old Wins $10,000 Bounty For Hacking Instagram

A 10-year-old Finnish boy was recently awarded with Facebook’s “bug bounty” of $10,000 for uncovering a major flaw in Instagram.

The Helsinki-based white hat hacker known only as Jani is now the youngest person who has ever received the prize from the social media giant’s bounty program. He has surpassed the previous youngest recipient, who was just 13 years old.

According to Forbes, the whiz kid found a vulnerability in Instagram that allowed him to force-delete user comments by simply altering code on the photo-sharing website’s servers. The discovered bug was already fixed in late February and the bounty was given to Jani in March this year.

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A Facebook representative explained that the error was due to a faulty application programming interface (API) that failed to check which user was deleting the comment, always assuming it was the same one who posted it.

Jani informed Instagram about the bug via email and got a reply a few days later. He then proved his claim by deleting a comment that Facebook posted on a test Instagram account.

“I would have been able to eliminate anyone, even Justin Bieber,” the boy told Finnish publication Iltalehti.

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He revealed that he picked up hacking techniques from YouTube videos and now dreams of joining the cyber-security industry.

“It would be my dream job. Security is really important,” he said.

The company has so far awarded more than 800 white hat hackers with $4.3 million in bounty worldwide.

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