It’s not uncommon for tech companies to encourage “hackers” to test their apps, software and hardware to find bugs and financially reward those that find them rather than have some miscreant use the same bug and cost the company both money and prestige.
Finnish kid becomes youngest winner of Facebook’s “Bug Bounty” program with Instagram hack
Ever since Matthew Broderick nearly began World War III in the film “War Games” child hackers were given a role model. That is if they were old enough to remember the film. In the case of a Finnish kid only known as Jani (privacy reasons given his age) he wasn’t born until nearly 25 years after the 1983 movie was released.
Facebook has confirmed that Jani was recently bestowed the honor of being the youngest to get $10,000 from Facebook’s “Bug Bounty” program for discovering a serious bug in Instagram’s messaging platform. The youngster found that he was he able to delete any comment on any Instagram account by “simply” entering code into the comment section himself. Prior to Jani taking down the prize the youngest to receive the bounty was 13-years old.
“I would have been able to eliminate anyone, even Justin Bieber,” he told the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti.
Jani is going to buy a bike
Jani told Facebook about the Instagram comment flaw in February and was paid the following month according to Facebook. Jani, not surprisingly(?), is interested in a future in cybersecurity but for now will be using some of his prize to simply buy a new bike according to the same newspaper.
Instagram has had troubles before with a bit of controversy occurring in December when Wes Wineberg was able to gain access to a horde of internal Instagram internal data but was denied the $10,000 because Facebook claimed he went too far to make his point without specifically saying what “too far” was.
The last time that Facebook updated how much the company has paid out to the “Bug Bounty” program that number came in at $4.3 million with nearly a million of that coming in 2015 when the company paid $936,000 to 210 researchers for a total of 526 reports.
Over the course of the program the largest recipients by nationality were Indians and then citizens of the United States. Apparently the Chinese and the Russians were too busy for the chump change as we all know they are quite good at this type of thing.