10-year-old Finnish boy uncovers Instagram comments vulnerability

A 10-year old boy has found a security flaw in Instagram and, for his efforts, been rewarded $10,000 by Facebook.

Jani, from Helsinki, Finland, sent an email to the image and video sharing social network explaining that he had uncovered a vulnerability back in February.

He claimed that he could delete user comments – intrigued, security engineers decided to test whether this was true or not.

They set up a dummy account and, unsurprisingly, found that the youngster could easily wipe out comments left by anyone on Instagram.

The reward was given as part of Facebook’s Bug Bounty program. Payment is discretionary, but over the last five years, $4.3 million has been paid out by the social network.

News of this was first revealed by the Finnish paper Iltalehti, which reported that Jani and his twin have demonstrated a flair for computing and coding from a young age.

“I tested whether the comments section of Instagram can handle harmful code,” he was quoted as saying.

“Turns out it can’t. I noticed that I can delete other people’s comments from there … I could have deleted anyone’s – like Justin Bieber’s for example – comments.”

A similar story made the headlines last year, when a nine-year old boy from the US demonstrated his ability to hack an Android smartphone.

Reuben Paul showed that he could access a supposedly secure device and steal information in just under 15 minutes.

“If a child can do it then a regular hacker can do it … so I just want everybody to be aware [and to] be more careful when you download games and stuff like that,” he was quoted as saying last year.

Author , We Live Security

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