10-year-old hacks Instagram, gets $10,000
LONDON — Talk about pocket money!
A 10-year old boy has just become the youngest person ever to receive a reward from Facebook after he uncovered a bug on its Instagram platform. (And he’s not even old enough to have his own account, according to Instagram‘s minimum age policy.)
Facebook gave the boy $10,000 after he told the company about a flaw that allowed him to delete other people’s comments.
The boy reportedly told Finnish newspaper Iltalehti that he could have even deleted comments from Justin Bieber. Named only as “Jani”, the boy from Helsinki, Finland, plans to spend his money on a bike and a soccer ball, the newspaper reported.
Facebook, which bought Instagram in 2012, said the bug was fixed in late February. Jani received his payment in March.
Facebook has been running its “bug bounty program” since 2011, rewarding hackers when they report tech and security problems.
The program has paid out more than $4.3 million to over 800 people around the world. The size of the reward varies depending on the issue.
It is not uncommon for teenagers to submit reports to the program, a Facebook spokesperson told CNNMoney.
Many tech companies offer similar programs to hackers who report cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Uber recently began offering $10,000 rewards for each critical problem that hackers identify.
AT&T bounties range from $100 to $5,000, while Google pays between $100 to $20,000.