10-Year-Old Computer Whiz Hacks Instagram

He's the youngest-ever 'bug bounty' recipient
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2016 3:14 AM CDT
Updated May 4, 2016 4:03 AM CDT
10-Year-Old Hacks Instagram, Wins $10K
In three years, Jani will be old enough to actually sign up on Instagram.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Next time the FBI needs somebody to break into an iPhone, there's a 10-year-old whiz kid in Finland who might be able to help them out. Jani, a schoolboy who started coding when he was 8, has been awarded $10,000 under Facebook's "bug bounty" scheme after spotting a security hole in Instagram coding that would allow users to delete other people's comments, the Guardian reports. "I tested whether the comments section of Instagram can handle harmful code. Turns out it can't. I noticed that I can delete other people's comments from there," Jani tells Finnish newspaper Iltalehti. "I could have deleted anyone's—like Justin Bieber's, for example—comments." He reported the bug in February and it was fixed in March.

Jani is the youngest person ever to be awarded cash under Facebook's bug-finding program, which has paid $4.3 million to more than 800 people since it was launched in 2011, TNW notes. The previous record-holder was 13. The schoolboy, whose twin brother is also learning how to find security holes, says he taught himself with the help of YouTube videos and his "dream job" would be working in information security. For now, he plans to spend the reward money on a soccer ball and a new bike. (Last fall, a hacker won a $1 million bounty for finding a security hole in Apple's iOS 9.)

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