Jani, a ten-year-old boy from Finland, was able to find a security flaw on the Instagram image sharing site. Even more surprising is that the kid is too young to have an account. The minimum age allowed for someone to join the social network is 13 years old.
The glitch that little Jani found granted access to someone to delete other users’ comments. The Geek website explained that Jani could use this code even to hack verified accounts of celebrities such as Justin Bieber.
Jani contacted Facebook via email earlier this year, in February, telling them about the flaw. After finding out about the issue, Instagram developed a software patch to fix the problem.
The ‘bug bounty’ pot is already a very common method used as a reward to those who discover flaws in big company’s products. Therefore, after his efforts, Jani was rewarded with $10,000. When asked what does he want to do with his money, Jani answered that he is going to purchase a football equipment, computers, and a new bike. It seems like the little boy is not only fond of computers but he also enjoys sports. Smart and healthy, right?
Since 2011, Facebook has rewarded people like Jani with a ‘bug bounty’ pot of $4.3 million. As it was previously mentioned, not only Facebook, but many other companies still offer substantial amounts of money to both amateur and professional computer experts who manage to find any flaw in the software.
This way, these companies can prevent the leak of information to those who might take advantage of these flaws for more vicious reasons. Besides Facebook, companies such as Reddit, Square, Yahoo! and Google use this scheme to ensure their software protection.
After this breakthrough, Jani has become the youngest person who ever received a reward like this. Regarding his future, he wishes to become a security researcher.
Until Jani, the previous youngest computer genius was Alex Miller (12 years old) from California, who received from Mozilla $3,000 back in 2010.
Maybe six years from now on, someone younger than Jani might stand out from the crowd and win even a more generous prize from Instagram or any of the other main companies. For sure rewards will be even greater in the future.
Image Source: Wikipedia