A 5-year-old in San Diego, Calif., was recently recognized by Microsoft for discovering a password flaw in its Xbox gaming system that allowed him to sign into his father's account.
Kristoffer Von Hassel, whose father Robert Davies works in computer security, was caught playing games on Xbox Live shortly after Christmas. Instead of getting angry, Davies was fascinated by how his son logged on without knowing his password, ABC 10 News reported on Thursday.
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Von Hassel told his father that when he typed in a wrong password to his father’s account, it took him to a password verification screen. By hitting the space key a few times and hitting "enter," the 5-year-old was able to gain access to the account.
"How awesome is that!" Davies told ABC 10 News. "Just being five years old and being able to find a vulnerability and latch onto that. I thought that was pretty cool."
The father and son reported the bug to Microsoft. The tech giant came up with a fix and has acknowledged Von Hassel on their website in a list of security researchers who have helped make Microsoft online services more secure.
"We're always listening to our customers and thank them for bringing issues to our attention," Microsoft said in a statement to ABC 10 News. "We take security seriously at Xbox and fixed the issue as soon as we learned about it."
As a token of their appreciation, Microsoft is sending Von Hassel four games, $50, and a year-long subscription to Xbox Live.
Microsoft announced Thursday that it would ship four security updates to customers next week, including the final fixes for flaws in Windows XP and Office 2003, according to Computerworld.com.
Security support from Microsoft for Windows XP and Office 2003 ended on Tuesday.
Microsoft called two of the four updates "critical," while the other two are considered "important," per Computerworld.com. One of the fixes affects Windows XP and all versions of Windows, including the newest version, Windows 8.1.
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