Microsoft recently received a tip about a security problem uncovered by an unlikely source: a 5-year-old boy.
Kristoffer Von Hassel, of California, had found a simple but clever way to hack into his father's Xbox Live account. According to local news outlet ABC10, his parents said they noticed shortly after Christmas that he was playing games he wasn't supposed to be playing on an account that he shouldn't have been able to access.
The ingenious tot was getting around his father's account password by first typing in a wrong password, then typing only space keys and hitting enter when shown a password verification screen, allowing him into the account.
When the pair brought the glitch to Microsoft's attention, the company showed its appreciation by giving Von Hassel four games, $50 and a yearlong subscription to Xbox Live.
"We're always listening to our customers and thank them for bringing issues to our attention," the company said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post. "We take security seriously at Xbox and fixed the issue as soon as we learned about it."
Techworm suggests that the hole in the system's security may have been left over from developers and testers, who often create such shortcuts to save themselves time logging in and out. Microsoft seems to have accidentally left open this backdoor entryway when launching the system.
Von Hassel missed out on the $10,000 bounty Microsoft pays hackers for finding security flaws in Windows software, but if he plays his cards right, his hacking skills might get him a job someday.
Some tech companies are known to hire hackers who can break through security. Facebook, for example, in 2011 hired the hacker responsible for jailbreaking both the iPhone and Playstation 3.