Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Five-year-old discovers Xbox password flaw

Microsoft rewards boy with free games.

Microsoft has rewarded a five-year-old boy with free games after he discovered a serious flaw in Xbox Live's password system.

Kristoffer Von Hassel, from San Diego, stumbled upon a way to log into his dad's Xbox account without needing the password - simply by tapping the space bar.

Enter an incorrect password and Microsoft's site would load a second password verification screen - it was this that he simply filled with space bar presses to gain entry into the account.

"I got nervous. I thought he was going to find out," Von Hassel explained (thanks, BBC News). "I thought someone was going to steal the Xbox."

He then told his dad, who contacted Microsoft about the exploit.

Microsoft has since patched the flaw and rewarded the family with four free games, £30 Xbox Live credit and a year's Xbox Live Gold membership.

Von Hassel is also credited in March 2014's list of individuals who have helped Microsoft discover security issues that month.

Five-year-old Kristoffer Von Hassel.