10-year-old hacker beats crop-producing apps at their own game

Posted In Android, Apps, iPhone - By Ryan On Monday, August 8th, 2011 With 0 Comments

DEFCON Kids - CyFi - 10-year-old mobile games hacker

When I was 10, I was consumed mostly by my brand new Casio keyboard and planning which Eddie Murphy rerun to watch next. How times have changed.

Just ask the 10-year-old little girl who happened to find a way to hack some of the most popular gaming apps on the planet. Apps built by multi-million dollar companies, some of which were funded by giant backers and recently purchased by social media megatrons with bazillions in the bank.

The hacker, known only by her super-leet handle CyFi, discovered a gaming loophole in iOS and Android games that work around time-oriented farming tasks, in the FarmVille-style tradition. After growing bored of waiting for crops to take hours to mature and harvest, she realised that changing the time on the device’s clock tricked the game into creating crops in a matter of seconds, all without having to pay a cent via the in-app purchases these games make their money on. And when facing games that had built-in detections for clock-change cheating, she managed to get around the checks by changing the time in smaller increments and disconnecting at crucial points in the game.

This naughty little hacker-in-training revealed her vulnerability detection at this year’s first DEFCON Kids conference, a younger version of the annual DEFCON hacking convention.

Nice to know that we’re giving our children the best possible chance at a wonderful future in cyber crime. Though CyFi doesn’t seem to have lost her ethics along the way. She’s been in touch with the game manufacturers concerned but hasn’t revealed the names of the red-faced developers publicly.

About - With at least 20 phones tucked away in drawers around the house and office, Ryan is a buy-to-try mobile consumer and loves playing with new handsets. Right now he's stuck on the iPhone 4.

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