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CNBC

10-year-old boy hacks Instagram and is rewarded with US$10,000 'bug bounty'

Finnish 10-year-old claims he could have even deleted pop star Justin Bieber's comments from the photo and video sharing site if he wanted to

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 May, 2016, 12:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 May, 2016, 3:32pm

A 10-year-old hacker from Finland won US$10,000 from Facebook after alerting the tech giant to a security flaw in its photo-sharing service, Instagram.

The boy, who lives in Helsinki and was identified only as Jani, found he could delete other people's comments from Instagram using malicious code, according to Finnish newspaper, Iltalehti.

He alerted the service to this flaw and was paid US$10,000 as a reward. Instagram said the vulnerability had been fixed.

"I would have been able to eliminate anyone's, even Justin Bieber's comments from there," Jani said.

Facebook operates a "bug bounty" program that rewards those who report vulnerabilities in its services, including Instagram.

Facebook has rewarded more than US$4.3 million to more than 800 people under the program since it launched in 2011.

Jani plans to spend his money on a new bicycle and a football. According to Facebook's own rules, he is too young to have an Instagram account, for which the recommended minimum age is 13.