5-year-old outsmarts Microsoft, discovers Xbox security flaw

The Xbox 360

A 5-year-old California boy has outwitted the sharpest minds at Microsoft and discovered a security flaw in the Xbox gaming system.

The computer-savvy tot, Kristoffer Von Hassel of San Diego, first tried to access his father’s Xbox Live account. When the password log-in screen appeared, Kristoffer simply hit the space button a few times and hit enter. Apparently, that’s all it took to bypass built-in security.

Kristoffer’s father, Robert Davies, told local news station KGTV that just after Christmas he noticed his son playing games he supposedly couldn’t access.

Davies, who works in computer security, says he reported the issue to Microsoft, which fixed the bug and rewarded Kristoffer with four games, $50, and a year’s subscription to Xbox Live.


The company also credited Kristoffer on its website as a “security researcher”.


In a statement, Microsoft said “we take security seriously” and thanked customers for highlighting issues they discover.

Even at such a young age, this wasn’t Kristoffer’s first security hack. When he was just a year old, his father says he bypassed a cellphone toddler lock by holding down the “home” button.