A coder from Russia named Kamil Hismatullin was playing around with YouTube when he discovered a hack that apparently made it possible for anyone on the outside to wipe any video clean forever. (He posted it online, but it’s now gone.)
Instead of YouTube/Google freaking out on him, they gave Hismatullin a big reward for uncovering this hitherto unknown vulnerability.
Thanks, Kamil, for making YouTube a safer place. But you also missed an opportunity to serve mankind. I quote from the BBC:
“I spent six to seven hours [on] research, considering that [for a] couple of hours I’ve fought the urge to clean up Bieber’s channel, haha,” wrote Mr Hismatullin.
“Although it was an early Saturday’s (sic) morning in San Francisco when I reported [the] issue, Google’s security team replied very fast, since this vulnerability could create utter havoc in a matter of minutes in the bad hands.
“This vulnerability [might have been used] to extort people or simply disrupt YouTube by deleting massive amounts of videos in a very short period of time.
“It was fixed in several hours, Google rewarded me $5,000 and luckily no Bieber videos were harmed.”
Truly a lost opportunity. For example, we all would have been spared this Bieber performance from the new show, Lip Sync Battle. (Via Tom)