The security researcher who found and reported this critical buffer overflow and memory corruption vulnerability in Mozilla's Firefox browser is none other than Alex Miller, a 12-year-old boy who earned a $3,000 bounty for his discovery.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Miller (right) was motivated to search for Firefox security holes after Mozilla increased its bug bounty from $500 to $3,000.
The seventh grader, described as a "Firefox loyalist," had previously reported a Firefox vulnerability but that one did not qualify for the cash payout.
Alex returned to the computer and his exploration. By Alex's estimation he spent about 90 minutes each day for about 10 days until he spotted it--a flaw in the memory of the running program.
The vulnerability, which can be exploited to crash a victim's browser and potentially run arbitrary code on their computer, was patched this week in Firefox 3.6.11 and Firefox 3.5.14.
It also affects Mozilla's Thunderbird 3.1.5, Thunderbird 3.0.9 and SeaMonkey 2.0.9.
* Image via MercuryNews.com.