10-year-old hacker finds mobile game exploit

Posted by TG Daily Staff

A 10-year-old girl known as "CyFi" has identified a flaw affecting certain games on iOS and Android devices.

The California hacker - who revealed her discovery over the weekend at the DefCon conference - said she came across the vulnerability in January 2011 after she becoming "bored" with farm-style games.

"It was hard to make progress in the game, because it took so long for things to grow," CyFi told CNET.

"So I thought, 'Why don't I just change the time?"
Unsurprisingly, most of the games she discovered the exploit in featured time-dependent factors which affect the planting of crops and subsequent harvesting cycles. 

Obviously, many games are coded to detect and block such practices, but CyFi claims to have found various ways of bypassing the usual protocols by disconnecting Wi-Fi and making only incremental adjustments.

CyFi's discovery prompted DefCon Kids to offer a $100 reward to the first young hacker who discovered the most games with the exploit over in 24 hours.

The bounty is being put up by AllClearID, a identity protection company also sponsoring DefCon Kids.

Note: CyFi's discovery has been positively verified by independent security researchers.