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10-year-old given $10,000 for hacking Instagram

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David Cornish
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What was your childhood punishment for stepping out of line? Sent to your room to sulk it out? Have your NES confiscated for the weekend? 

For 10-year-old Finnish boy Jani, it's $10,000 (£6,900).

His crime: hacking Instagram to discover a security flaw that allowed him to delete any comment on the image sharing service.

"I would have been able to eliminate [anyone's comment]," Jani told Finnish publication Iltalehti, "even Justin Bieber."

After Jani - who's still three years too young to officially join the Instagram community - discovered the bug, he emailed Facebook (the app's owners) to notify them of the flaw. They set up a test account to trial his exploit, and upon confirming the flaw, sent him $10,000 as part of their 'bug bounty' programme; a scheme that rewards people for identifying flaws in software. 

Jani apparently learnt to tweak app security features by watching YouTube videos (which now makes us feel terribly old and inadequate). He hopes to spend the money on football equipment and a new bicycle.

Good on you Jani. Just stay out of our social media accounts like a good kid, yeah?

(Image: Shutterstock)

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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