Menu
5-year-old hacks Xbox, becomes Microsoft 'security researcher'

5-year-old hacks Xbox, becomes Microsoft 'security researcher'

The boy got in via a glitch in the password verification screen

A 5-year-old San Diego boy has been commended by Microsoft for his security skills after finding a vulnerability in the company's Xbox games console.

Kristoffer Von Hasssel's parents noticed earlier this year that he was logged into his father's Xbox Live account and playing games he was not supposed to.

He hadn't stolen his father's password. Instead, he stumbled upon a very basic vulnerability that Microsoft is said to have now fixed.

After typing an incorrect password, Kristoffer was taken to a password verification screen. There, he simply tapped the space bar a few times, hit "enter" and was let into his father's account.

The password allowed him to access not only the games but everything else on the Xbox, including a non-age-restricted YouTube account, his father, Robert Davies, said by telephone Friday.

"I was like, 'Wow, that's so cool,'" Davies said.

Despite some who insist that Kristoffer must have had help, Davies said his son indeed accessed the Xbox account on his own.

Perhaps it was in his genes: Davies is a security engineer at the San Diego offices of ServiceNow, an enterprise IT cloud services company.

Davies reported the bug to Microsoft, which fixed it right away.

Kristoffer's name is now listed among Microsoft's March list of security researchers who have disclosed vulnerabilities in its products.

"We're always listening to our customers and thank them for bringing issues to our attention," Microsoft was quoted as saying in the report.

Kristoffer received a reward of US$50, a year's subscription to Xbox Live and four games, his father said.

That's a bit less than some other bug finders receive. Microsoft launched several new bounty programs of its own last year, including one that pays up to $100,000 for "truly novel exploitation techniques."

The story was first reported by an ABC News affiliate.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftinternetgamesgame softwareonline servicesInternet-based applications and servicesGame platforms

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Pantry at Park Hyatt in Auckland to kick-start 2021.

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland
The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Show Comments