5-year-old Ocean Beach boy exposes Microsoft Xbox vulnerability

OCEAN BEACH, Calif. - A young Ocean Beach boy is in the spotlight after he discovered a back door in to one of the most popular gaming systems in the world.

When 5-year-old Kristoffer Von Hassel is playing his Xbox, his feet don't touch the ground. But something he did has made the smartest guys at Microsoft pay attention.

“I was like yea!” said Kristoffer.

Just after Christmas, Kristoffer's parents noticed he was logging into his father's Xbox Live account and playing games he wasn't supposed to be.

“I got nervous. I thought he was going to find out,” said Kristoffer.       

In video shot soon after, his father, Robert Davies, is heard asking Kristoffer how he was doing it.

A suddenly excited Kristoffer showed Dad that when he typed in a wrong password for his father’s account, it clicked to a password verification screen. By typing in space keys, then hitting enter, Kristoffer was able to get in through a back door.

Kristoffers' father, who works in computer security, was one proud papa. His first reaction? "How awesome is that!" Davies said. “Just being 5 years old and being able to find a vulnerability and latch onto that. I thought that was pretty cool.”

It's not the first time Kristoffer has flashed his tech skills.

“He’s figured out vulnerabilities 3 or 4 times,” said Davies.

At age 1, Kristoffer got past the toddler lock screen on a cell phone by holding down the home key.
            
Four years later, he took aim at the Xbox One.            

Father and son reported the bug to Microsoft.

“I thought someone was going to steal the Xbox,” said Kristoffer.
 
Microsoft has come up with a fix and acknowledged Kristopher on their website in a list of security researchers that have helped make Microsoft online services more secure.

In a statement, Microsoft said, "We're always listening to our customers and thank them for bringing issues to our attention. We take security seriously at Xbox and fixed the issue as soon as we learned about it."
 
Kristoffer will receive four games, $50 and a year-long subscription to Xbox Live from Microsoft. He also knows what he now wants to be when he grows up: a gamer. His dad is leaning toward something in computer security.

Follow 10News Reporter Michael Chen on Twitter - @10NewsChen.

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