Feeds

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

Boy, they're starting young these days

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.