Karen Belz
May 04, 2016 12:24 pm
Shutterstock

Sometimes, it pays to speak up. A Finnish 10-year-old named Jani, who has a love for coding, noticed a huge problem with Instagram’s app, and decided to let them know by e-mail — in return, he ended up being paid quite handsomely by the Facebook-owned company.

Jani noticed that the app was lacking security. He realized that if he put in a certain code, he would be able to delete other user comments, overriding them. And this flaw was open on all accounts, so even celebrities had the capability of getting hacked. Luckily, Jani used his hacker capabilities for good, choosing to let the Faceboook know, instead of causing harm to their product. The team running Instagram was so grateful for his honesty, that they let him know that they fixed the flaw and sent him a check for $10,000, which is a lot of money for anyone, especially a 10-year-old.

He plans on spending the cash on some fun stuff —  computers, a brand new bike, and some upgraded soccer gear.

Facebook, who purchased Instagram back in 2012, refers to these hackers as being part of their “bug bounty hunter” program that they launched in 2011 — and while Jani isn’t the first person to get paid for finding flaws, he’s definitely the youngest. Facebook estimates that since their program started, they’ve paid out about $4.3 million to hackers all over the world. In order for hackers to get paid, they have to follow the site’s terms and agreements, which Jani had no problem doing.

After Jani contacted the company, they put him up to the test, having him delete a comment that they made to see if his findings were accurate. It didn’t take long for Facebook to realize that this kid knew his coding.

In the future, Jani plans on turning these skills into a career, stating that his dream job would focus around computer security. We have zero doubt that Jani will have any trouble entering the field, especially with such a big accomplishment on his resume.

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