Feeds

Five-year-old discovers Xbox password bug, hacks dad's Live account

Boy, they're starting young these days

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A five-year-old boy has found and exploited a password flaw in his Xbox to hack into his father's Xbox Live account.

Still of Kristoffer playing on the Xbox

Look out, Mitnick ... Kristoffer Von Hassel on his Xbox (Credit: ABC 10 / KGTV)

The parents of Kristoffer Von Hassel, from Ocean Beach in San Diego, California, noticed after Christmas that the talented tot had broken into the account without knowing the password – allowing him to cheekily play games for adults that he wasn't supposed to touch.

The kid managed it by tapping in a wrong password at the console's login prompt, navigating to a password verification screen, and filling the password box with space characters before hitting the submit button. After that, the door was open.

“I was like, 'yea!'” Kristoffer told ABC News.

His father Robert Davies, who works as a computer security specialist, said the inquisitive infant has a record of doing this kind of thing. When Kristoffer was one year old, he defeated the toddler lock on his dad's phone by holding the home key down to disable the lockout – but the Xbox hack is the kid's best discovery to date, his father said.

"How awesome is that!" Davies said. “Just being five years old and being able to find a vulnerability and latch onto that. I thought that was pretty cool.”

Davies got in touch with Redmond and the problem has been fixed, allowing the family to go public with the discovery. Kristoffer received four games for free from Microsoft in recompense, along with a year's Xbox Live subscription and $50 (about 30 quid), as well as a mention on the company's vulnerabilities shoutout web page.

"We're always listening to our customers and thank them for bringing issues to our attention," a Microsoft spokesperson told El Reg. "We take security seriously at Xbox and fixed the issue as soon as we learned about it." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.