10-Year-Old Finnish Whiz Kid Scores $10,000 Facebook Prize For Hacking Instagram
Jani isn't even old enough to use Instagram, but he didn't let that stop him from participating in Facebook's Bug Bounty program. Melanie Ensigtn, a security representative at Facebook, told
The vulnerability had to do with Instagram's application program interface (API), and specifically how the app interacts with a server. In order to erase a comment, the API performs a check to see if you have the authority to do so, but there was a bug in the checking process. Jani discovered it, telling Finnish news outlet Iltalehti
Jani is now the youngest person to have ever received a bug bounty from Facebook, snapping a record that previously belonged to a 13-year-old. The money actually went to Jani's parents, though he has a few items picked out he wants to buy. Jani plans to upgrade his soccer equipment and get a new bike, as well as new computers for him and his twin brother.
Facebook has now paid out around $4.3 million to more than 800 security researchers as part of its bug bounty program. The average payout is $1,780, a figure that Ensign says runs higher than the majority of the payouts because of some larger payments. Jani's payment was comparatively significant because the bug he found applied to the Instagram community at large.