10 year old girl finds flaw in mobile games

The DefCon hacker event in Las Vegas last week was unique in that the show launched a new division called DefCon Kids. As News.com reports, DefCom Kids has already generated an interesting story. A 10 year old girl hacker who is only known in public by her nickname "CyFi" has announced that she has found a zero-day flaw in some mobile phone games that run on the iOS and Android operating systems.

The story reports that the girl, who does not want to give out her real name, found out about the flaw while playing farm themed games on her phone. It seems that some iOS and Android based games can be effected by simply advancing the phone's clock. The flaw allowed for things like crops in the farm games to mature more quickly than they would otherwise. "CyFi" claims that while some games can detect that kind of workaround, she found some ways to fool the game that more time had passed. The story says, "Disconnecting the phone from Wi-Fi made it harder to stop, as did making incremental clock adjustments."

So far the young hacker hasn't revealed which mobile games can be affected by this type of OS time manipulation, allowing "the vendors which make the affected games a chance to respond." In the meantime the hacker's mother, who is also unidentified in the article, says that she is offering a $100 reward to be given to "the young hacker who found the most games with this exploit over the following 24 hours."

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They are so mentally retarded to believe that the 10yr old kid did a hack. This trick is around since day 1 of the time expiring trials long before the age of the internet.

I used this method when I was 12 to discover that Y2K was a money-making hoax perpetrated by the IT community.

I used this method when I was 12 to discover that Y2K was a money-making hoax perpetrated by the IT community.

for installing time-limited software it used to work to... example: you have 30 day trial of something, before installing fastforward your PC time to 3 years (or 30 years) in the future, install, then change back to normal... walla... 3 year trial!

At 10 years old I was using a hex-editor to modify RPG's to give my characters better weapons and characteristics....I didn't make the news

meh!

i did my first hack, changing the source code of a 8 bit game (basic) and putting my name instead of the name of the company and i am not so special or skilled but curious.

Sensational news title followed by non-news. If the flaw in these mobile games allowed a hacker to gain complete control of a target handheld, then that would be something.

I was doing this when i was around that age... It's changing the time to extent a trial.. It's basic common sence. Why the hell is she getting called a hacker? LOL.

Thats not hacking. Thats finding an exploit. The article suggest she set out deliberately to find it and that she must of "hacked" other stuff to earn her title.

I found 2 very interesting bugs in games when i was about 7-12yrs old. One was in Soulcalibur the 3 letter name PIP is not recognised, the other was in Goldeneye, where if you put a proximity mine on something you were to pick up, then picked up the item and detonated the mine, the game would become confused and lock up.

Am I a hacker? I think flippin not.

Article highlights just how thick kids are today in general.

Anyone over thirty knows you almost had to be a reasonable programmer under 10 years old to get anything interesting done with a computer.

The good old days of hex hacking a computers memory to remove pass code protection or adding infinite lives etc on boot up. Right click to continue.

Septimus said,
Article highlights just how thick kids are today in general.

Anyone over thirty knows you almost had to be a reasonable programmer under 10 years old to get anything interesting done with a computer.

The good old days of hex hacking a computers memory to remove pass code protection or adding infinite lives etc on boot up. Right click to continue.

aah i remember sitting re-writing hundred of lines of Hex code. We had to hack out the code on the skools security cards using it. then ofc all the time hacking Gameshark codes using Hex. aah takes me back.

This is a super old hack that we used in the 80's to stop shareware from timing out by turning the clock back.

Not a hacker. Neowin, take this off the home page, this is a bad reporting.

News?? A 10 year old doing something that people have been doing for decades! Nothing new here, even though she is 10. Ideas become more basic and are able to be learned at younger ages the longer said knowledge is in a society. ex: world is flat.

Lame "exploit" is lame. This is NOT a HACK, its disconnecting your mobile from a network so it cant auto-sync the time and then exploiting a time based progression games reliance on time. People have been doing this for forever, it is not new, it is not something she discovered, though it may be "new" to her.

This is like taking a trip to china and claiming you discovered china!

That was the great thing about Plants Vs Zombies. You could water your plants. Then set your clock behind 1 day or a head 1 day and get to water then all over again.

Everybody needs to remember that the girl did not want the publicity and it is probably the show organisers that have seen the opportunity in publicity here.

Not her fault. However, most 10-year-olds are not that clued up.

Damn, the news are overblowing this. I mean, kudos to the girl. But changing the clock on a time based game must be the oldest trick in the book.

Julius Caro said,
Damn, the news are overblowing this. I mean, kudos to the girl. But changing the clock on a time based game must be the oldest trick in the book.

To be fair, developers have dropped the ball if they haven't implemented counter measures to this work around...

The Teej said,

To be fair, developers have dropped the ball if they haven't implemented counter measures to this work around...

Yea, my other half does the same in Fable 2/3 to make money

old news, im sure people already knew and used this trick to cheat in the games. i tried this on surfs iOS and its a fast way to level up.you turn off web access set the date back x months or years and just up it x amount of time instead of waiting in the game .im sure there is a easy patch for them types of games that will be out soon

While it's impressive that it is a 10-year-old girl that found this, isn't this something that has been known about and used in many games?

A good example that I remember was in Metal Gear Solid 3. There was a fight with a sniper at one point, but you could save the game and quit to the OS. If you advanced the time forwards by 2 weeks (or something like that) and then loaded up your game again, the sniper would be dead without you having fought him.

I guess that there is a difference here, though. Some of these mobile games and applications use some form of virtual marketplace, and these kind of tricks could really cause problems there.

Intrinsica said,
While it's impressive that it is a 10-year-old girl that found this, isn't this something that has been known about and used in many games?

A good example that I remember was in Metal Gear Solid 3. There was a fight with a sniper at one point, but you could save the game and quit to the OS. If you advanced the time forwards by 2 weeks (or something like that) and then loaded up your game again, the sniper would be dead without you having fought him.

I guess that there is a difference here, though. Some of these mobile games and applications use some form of virtual marketplace, and these kind of tricks could really cause problems there.

my wife has been doing this for the coin dozzer game for a year now.

OMG what will she hack next.... maybe she will tracer T into 192.168.1.1 and type in admin/password... CRAZY SICK HACKER!

xendrome said,
OMG what will she hack next.... maybe she will tracer T into 192.168.1.1 and type in admin/password... CRAZY SICK HACKER!

LOL

xendrome said,
OMG what will she hack next.... maybe she will tracer T into 192.168.1.1 and type in admin/password... CRAZY SICK HACKER!

Shes 10, cut her a little slack.

stevember said,

Shes 10, cut her a little slack.

Why should he? Finding a flaw in a game doesn't make somebody a hacker, i'm personally sick and tired of all the "amazing" titles being thrown around nowadays, such as a few months back, a 15/16 year old boy made a crappy iOS app, he was titled the next Steve Jobs.

Jan said,

Why should he? Finding a flaw in a game doesn't make somebody a hacker, i'm personally sick and tired of all the "amazing" titles being thrown around nowadays, such as a few months back, a 15/16 year old boy made a crappy iOS app, he was titled the next Steve Jobs.

+1 to this, that is exactly my point. Everyone thinks their stupid kid is the next Einstein...

Typical story goes like this:

Child accidently does something that to everyone else is normal and we do it daily. Child is then hailed as the next "Insert Great Thinker/Scientist/Artist Here" and EVERY news paper picks up on it. Child's mother/father then gets delusional and touts child has "Prodigy, Genius, <insert other description here>"

15 years later child realizes that the drawing of "Poop on Canvas" he/she did when they were 2 was infact garbage, and not art. Never able to life up to fame from accidental poop smearing drawing, child becomes pizza delivery person and part time meth head.

Thank you bad parenting and media.

lawl, I used to do this to still run expired software. If my trial was up.. set the clock back a few days.. and voila it still works!

firey said,
lawl, I used to do this to still run expired software. If my trial was up.. set the clock back a few days.. and voila it still works!

Ahhh the good ole' days!

HoochieMamma said,

Ahhh the good ole' days!

Totally! Back in the day when devs focused on the program more than the copy protection.

vraev said,

Totally! Back in the day when devs focused on the program more than the copy protection.

Don't you miss that? Everyone does, including the devs!

HoochieMamma said,

Ahhh the good ole' days!


The good old days? Still common in many thing today brother still uses his windows 7 prerelease rtm using this method! Just roll bk the clock and it never runs out!