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
Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityMicrosoftinternetdata protectiondata breachgamesgame softwareonline servicesInternet-based applications and servicesGame platforms

Featured

Slideshows

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kick-start 2018. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018
Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Show Comments