Whoever believed hacking Microsoft’s Xbox Live was child’s play has been proven right. A five-year-old recently found the flaw in the Live system, which allowed him to access his dad’s account without ever having to use the correct password.
Kristoffer Von Hassel from California managed to get into his dad’s Xbox Live account and play games, when his parents had no idea. They only noticed at the start of the year that he was playing games he was not allowed to, but had no idea how it was happening.
His father decided to ask Von Hassel just how he was getting through the system. Camera ready, he showed how he would enter the incorrect password, which would have taken the five-year-old to the verification page. To bypass that, the boy pressed the space bar a few times and that bypassed the password page. He was in to play whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.
While the young boy believed he would be in trouble for the deception, his parents were actually quite proud. Luckily for them, his dad is a ServiceNow security researcher, so understands the importance of this type of testing. He had found a security flaw that was supposed to keep hackers out. A boy of just five was able to find a flaw that thousands of others had never managed. Maybe it is a sign that he should go into the same line of work has his father.
The loophole was reported to Microsoft to show that hacking the Xbox Live system was child’s play. The tech giant has since created and released a patch to prevent anyone else from being able to use that.
It turns out that the five-year-old is now honored as one of the company’s security researchers. This is a list that is updated whenever someone finds a security issue, something that Microsoft encourages people to do. Anyone who makes the list gets $50 for their efforts. The five-year-old was also given four games for the Xbox One and a Live Gold membership for a year.
According to a representative for the company, the tech giant continually thanks customers for bringing security concerns to them. This is the only way that the issues can be fixed to prevent any malicious damage.
In March 2014 alone, 40 people have made the list of security researchers for the company. This includes Von Hassel. Some of them are individuals, while others are companies that purposely look out for security issues and bugs. All reported the issues to Microsoft privately, so that the company could create the patches.
This security issue is not the first the child has come across. When he was just a toddler, he found a flaw in a cellphone locking system that was designed to keep children out of the phone. By just holding down the “home” button, he was able to access the phone. His father claims that the boy has found a number of other security flaws in technological devices, and it just shows that Microsoft Xbox and other technology hacking really is just child’s play.
By Alexandria Ingham