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Jul 7, 2011

Microsoft Hires 14 Year Child : Hacker

Talk about hacking and video games over the past few weeks and everyone automatically thinks of Sony and PSN first. It can’t be helped, the PSN hack was a PR nightmare for Sony and a worrying time for gamers whose credit card details were logged on the service, not to mention the weeks with no access to online gaming.

While that was going on, though, Microsoft had its own little hacking incident to deal with. A 14-year-old Irish school boy known only as Jake managed to hack into the Xbox 360 servers for Modern Warfare 2 and cause a phishing scam alert.

It wasn’t big news as Microsoft handled it, but they wanted to know what had caused it and if it was related to the PSN hacking incident. They managed to trace it back to this Irish schoolkid, which must have come as a bit of surprise. It’s not every day someone so young can learnt he skills to find an exploit and then do the work to gain access to such a system.

To give Microsoft credit where it’s due, they didn’t turn on the boy. Instead, they have decided to make him their youngest employee. The thinking being, he is obviously adept and Microsoft want to nurture that talent. Who knows, he could be the next Bill Gates.

Working with Microsoft in Ireland, managing director of the division Paul Rellis said they aim to, “develop his talent for legitimate purposes.” In other words, they hope to have him as a full time employee working on Windows 10 or the fourth iteration Xbox in a few years.
Read more at The Atlantic and The Hacker News


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