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Facebook pays child £7,000 for hacking Instagram

A 10-year-old boy from Finland has received a £7,000 payment from Facebook after unearthing an Instagram security flaw.

Helsinki-based Jani discovered that entering malicious code into the Instagram comment field allowed him to delete other people’s comments – that’s obviously not an intended feature.

Iltalehti warned Facebook about the issue in an e-mail, and was paid the 9,043.18 EUR (£7,000/$10,000) reward as part of Facebook’s Bug Bounty scheme.

“Jani has been enthusiastic about coding games for several years now,” news site Iltalehti reports (Finnish-language), adding that he and his brother “have been searching for security holes in the past and found a few”.

janiJani’s reward (via Iltalehti)

“However, they have been so small that they have not paid any fees,” Iltalehti continues.

Facebook says its Bug Bounty program “provides recognition and compensation to security researchers practicing responsible disclosure”. The scheme was launched on July 29, 2011, and has paid out over $4.3 million to date.

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Jani told reporters that he wants a career as a computer security expert, adding: “It would be my dream job. Security is really important.”

The money is being put towards a new bike, football, and new computers for Jani and his brother.

What was your biggest achievement at the age of 10? Let us know in the comments.

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