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10-Year-Old Lad Manages To Hack Instagram - Facebook Rewards Him With $10k

Mel Ramsay

| Last updated 

10-Year-Old Lad Manages To Hack Instagram - Facebook Rewards Him With $10k

I wish I had been born later. Kids are now brought up with computers, tablets and smartphones as standard. They're learning code in primary schools. Damn, us 80s/90s kids really missed out.

A 10-year-old lad somehow managed to hack Instagram, exposing a major flaw.

Instead of kicking off, Facebook - who bought Instagram back in 2012 for $1bn (£629m) - rewarded him with $10,000 (nearly £7,000). That is not bad for someone born in the mid-2000s.

Only known as Jani (his parents understandably have withheld his surname) the young genius benefited from Facebook's 'bug bounty' program. This offers cash rewards to people who find bugs and flaws in Facebook's digital infrastructure. Luckily for Jani, this includes the Facebook-owned Instagram.


Finnish news site, Iltalehti, spoke to the young lad about what he found. Apparently, he said that he could delete what people wrote on Instagram. He demonstrated by deleting a comment they made on a test account. He claimed that he could even delete Justin Bieber's comments with the flaw he found.

Jani and his twin brother have found flaws in other websites before. However, this is the first time that they've received a cash reward.

Facebook's bug bounty program has around 13,000 submissions from people like Jani in 2015 alone. 526 of these were, in fact, valid reports. Mashable reported that 'in 2015, Facebook paid out a total of $936,000 to 210 researchers, averaging about $1,780 per submission'.


If you attempt to hack Facebook, as long as you comply with their guidelines - they won't prosecute you. To be fair, this is absolutely genius. They have millions and millions of active users every second - they may as well utilise them.

By ensuring that would-be hackers are given cash for their efforts, and making sure that they do it on your own terms, they're utilising an incredible resource that otherwise could've been used against them.

Facebook's site states: "We recognise and reward security researchers who help us to keep people safe by reporting vulnerabilities in our services. Monetary bounties for such reports are entirely at Facebook's discretion, based on risk, impact and other factors."

If you fancy your chances, click here to check the guidelines and see if you can be the next Jani.


Words by Mel Ramsay

Featured image credit: PA

Topics: Instagram, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg

Mel Ramsay
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