Teen who attempted to hack Xbox now working with Microsoft

Sony has had quite the PR disaster on its hands after the exposure of its PlayStation Network. While Microsoft has, so far, not had its systems compromised to the degree that Sony is currently facing, the platform is not perfect either. A report out of Ireland states that a teen who attempted to hack Microsoft's Xbox is now working along side the company to help develop his skills for more legitimate purposes.

The report comes from Herald.ie and states that a Dublin teen "was responsible for millions of computer users being alerted after the popular online game Modern Warfare 2 was hacked." The story is about aloof on direct details as it refers to the Microsoft Xbox in most of the story but refers to computers being hacked, not the actual console.

But, rather than lambasting the young teen and revoking his access to the Internet or other punishment, Microsoft is now working with the teen to help develop his skills. The Herald states:

Mr Rellis said Microsoft is working with the teenager to develop his talent and help him use his skills for legitimate purposes.

While this shouldn't be an open invitation to hack any company in an attempt to land a job, it is an encouraging sign that Microsoft wants to help the teen develop skills that are more useful to society. Also, unlike Sony who took Geohot to court after he cracked the PS3, Microsoft is helping to grow the next generation of engineers who will help bring about the next wave of computer innovation.

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Is that what i have to do to get a computer job with a company like microsoft?
Hey, I made WindowsDVD, a System Admins dream back in 2004, a bootable all inclusive Windows 2000, XP, 2003, installable and updatable with all various service pack levels. I wrote CDShell code and AMS4 code for the Autorun, plus had to modify some binary files for the bootups, and the ability to recreate standalone ISO images...
My strongest coding languages are LUA and Java, I'm adaptable... Hire me!

if a teen can hack them, it means that their IT department sucks (or just failed during the occasion)

There were many cases where this concept of making a hacker into a good guy (white hat) has occured many times over the past 30 years.

Sounds like Microsoft sent the rape squad to his house and broke him. Good move. Sony should have done the same to the other hackers instead of threatening them legally.

GeoHot wasn't a white hacker, he destroyed Sony by enabling piracy on PS3. Why would they want to hire that guy? If he had discovered the flaw and just notified Sony then yes, but he didn't. He deserved it all.

Anooxy said,
GeoHot wasn't a white hacker, he destroyed Sony by enabling piracy on PS3. Why would they want to hire that guy? If he had discovered the flaw and just notified Sony then yes, but he didn't. He deserved it all.

People who run pirated games on their PS3 do so of their own accord. They are the ones breaking the law, not Geohot. I don't like him, but he's not in the wrong, either.

x9_ said,

People who run pirated games on their PS3 do so of their own accord. They are the ones breaking the law, not Geohot. I don't like him, but he's not in the wrong, either.

Actually, by Geohot giving everything out, he was in the wrong. If he had kept all the information to himself, nothing bad would have come from this.
A factory that makes guns is not liable for how people use them. True.
A factory that makes guns, but then just hands them out freely on the street without doing background checks is the cause of what those guns then brings.
It is how you go about doing something that will determine right and wrong. Not necessarily what you did, but how you did it.

Azies said,

Oh my god! Why are people comparing Guns to Consoles, and cars to consoles?! They're totally different things!

Oh Your God! It's called a analogy. Go look what it means up on Google, because you will encounter it a ton in real life. Other wise, stop trolling.

shakey said,

Actually, by Geohot giving everything out, he was in the wrong. If he had kept all the information to himself, nothing bad would have come from this.
A factory that makes guns is not liable for how people use them. True.
A factory that makes guns, but then just hands them out freely on the street without doing background checks is the cause of what those guns then brings.
It is how you go about doing something that will determine right and wrong. Not necessarily what you did, but how you did it.

I've actually just completed a university-level philosophical study of the situation (in the last few weeks) and every ethical theory I used to examine the situation arrived at the conclusion that GeoHot is in the right. That's not the conclusion I was expecting to arrive at, either.

It's not different to selling someone a baseball bat. Sure, it can be used to kill people (something that is obviously wrong), but that's not why they're sold, obviously.

Anooxy said,
GeoHot wasn't a white hacker, he destroyed Sony by enabling piracy on PS3. Why would they want to hire that guy? If he had discovered the flaw and just notified Sony then yes, but he didn't. He deserved it all.

Sony is destroyed? when did this happen? certain technologies and functionality that enhance our systems also provide more possibilities to do wrong but it doesn't mean we should stop due to the side-effects. Disc drives allow copying and burning of copyright material, shall we do away with disc drives? how about P2P programs, the internet, etc..

Anooxy said,
GeoHot wasn't a white hacker, he destroyed Sony by enabling piracy on PS3. Why would they want to hire that guy? If he had discovered the flaw and just notified Sony then yes, but he didn't. He deserved it all.

It kind of depends on how he presented it. If he said "I've discovered a flaw in the PS3 that allows users to pirate PS3 games and run them on their console", then all he's doing is pointing out a flaw in the PS3. If he said, "This is how you pirate and run games on a PS3. Now go do it before I put a gun to your head!", then that would be a completely different story.

You know people discover flaws in technology all the time. People find security holes in Windows and hack people, they get closed, but what happens to the person who discovered this hack? People find security holes that allows them to tap into cell phones, but what happens to them for discovering this flaw? Why should GeoHot face consequences these other hackers don't?

Shadowzz said,
its by far not the first time Microsoft hired an (former) hacker... Microsoft is founded by an hacker.....

What are you smoking?

PlogCF said,

What are you smoking?

Many employees at Microsoft are (former) hackers..
On top of that, Bill Gates was a hacker before he founded Microsoft.

Is anyone over at Sony taking notes or is their pride still getting in the way? Wonder how many more times they'll get hacked before this is over for them.

GP007 said,
Is anyone over at Sony taking notes or is their pride still getting in the way? Wonder how many more times they'll get hacked before this is over for them.

If every company just hired anyone who hacked anything, then this world would suck. The kids who break **** would get hired, while those who follow societies rules get no where.... There is a reason 1 trip can be taken via multiple paths.

shakey said,

If every company just hired anyone who hacked anything, then this world would suck. The kids who break **** would get hired, while those who follow societies rules get no where.... There is a reason 1 trip can be taken via multiple paths.

that is true, and does suck, but on the other hand nice guys always finish last, if you want to get somewhere in life you have to take risks,

shakey said,

If every company just hired anyone who hacked anything, then this world would suck. The kids who break **** would get hired, while those who follow societies rules get no where.... There is a reason 1 trip can be taken via multiple paths.

You don't just hire them all, it's always that 1 or 2 people who first break into something, like Geohot, and get the ball rolling after doing all the hard work. It's that one guy who does something totally crazy and something the majority couldn't do for years that you try and hire, not the guys who come after.

GP007 said,

You don't just hire them all, it's always that 1 or 2 people who first break into something, like Geohot, and get the ball rolling after doing all the hard work. It's that one guy who does something totally crazy and something the majority couldn't do for years that you try and hire, not the guys who come after.

No, you can't let society get into the mindset that their illegal actions can warrant them fame and money. That is how you start a very bad cycle of people breaking the law and hacking whatever they want in hopes of $$$. First, last, middle... doesn't matter. Those who break the law, break into a system, should not be rewarded for such, if only to persuade others to not do it. You really don't want a world where people will take "risk" of becoming rich and famous, by pushing others down and harming them in some form.

GP007 said,

You don't just hire them all, it's always that 1 or 2 people who first break into something, like Geohot, and get the ball rolling after doing all the hard work. It's that one guy who does something totally crazy and something the majority couldn't do for years that you try and hire, not the guys who come after.


If you have a car and a guy says I have made this car more reliable, better fuel consumption and it's quieter on the road you don't sue him you hire him to get that knowledge on how he did it so you can improve your product.

shakey said,

No, you can't let society get into the mindset that their illegal actions can warrant them fame and money. That is how you start a very bad cycle of people breaking the law and hacking whatever they want in hopes of $$. First, last, middle... doesn't matter. Those who break the law, break into a system, should not be rewarded for such, if only to persuade others to not do it. You really don't want a world where people will take "risk" of becoming rich and famous, by pushing others down and harming them in some form.

Hacking something is done all the time, by schools as well, as far as encryption goes and so on. "hacking" hardware in order to use it for personal use in a way it wasn't meant to (like installing another OS on it) isn't the same as hacking it to pirate software and steal stuff. You shouldn't lump all "hacking" or "cracking" together in the same group and say it's wrong period.

Is hacking and rooting your phone illegal? No, it just voids your warranty but that's nothing much for those who bother to do it.

GP007 said,

Hacking something is done all the time, by schools as well, as far as encryption goes and so on. "hacking" hardware in order to use it for personal use in a way it wasn't meant to (like installing another OS on it) isn't the same as hacking it to pirate software and steal stuff. You shouldn't lump all "hacking" or "cracking" together in the same group and say it's wrong period.

Is hacking and rooting your phone illegal? No, it just voids your warranty but that's nothing much for those who bother to do it.

Why is everyone then saying Sony messed up when they didn't hire a hacker who did break the law?
I'm not talking about hackers who don't break the law. Those who hack for the good of something are good, and should get hired if they have the skills.
But hackers who break into security systems, enable piracy, and leak the information for everyone to use; those are not the ones you reward.
You stated that Sony should be taking notes... but again, by your own logic, why would they want to hire someone who was only trying to do damage? Someone who enabled piracy and leaked how and the software all online...

So.. you know, Sony didn't write the laws here, they write Terms of Services, and the article isn't talking about the hacking of PSN, but Geohot. I'm glad I dont live in your world, where Corporations can write my laws.

shakey said,

If every company just hired anyone who hacked anything, then this world would suck. The kids who break **** would get hired, while those who follow societies rules get no where.... There is a reason 1 trip can be taken via multiple paths.


Not really, they'd just help the people who make stuff make it safer. They each have their place, people who build security are helped by those who try to break it, they're not replaced. And it appears there's a need for both type of people.

Interesting, but such different takes to try and put together. Would be like saying you found one neighbor kid who liked to hit plants with a stick, so you started teaching him how to garden. Then you have this other kid, who beats dogs with sticks... you don't want to even be near this kid, so you let the authorities handle him
Good for Microsoft, but the forms of hacking and what could be done via the hacks were vastly different.

shakey said,
Interesting, but such different takes to try and put together. Would be like saying you found one neighbor kid who liked to hit plants with a stick, so you started teaching him how to garden. Then you have this other kid, who beats dogs with sticks... you don't want to even be near this kid, so you let the authorities handle him
Good for Microsoft, but the forms of hacking and what could be done via the hacks were vastly different.

Well, I don't think it is really a good comparison: you don't need skills to hit plants or dogs with a stick, but you if you crack a network that was designed by high-paid IT professionals and runs on costly software, then you have skills and that brain could be useful for legitimate purposes (plus, you don't want that brain to be working against you!)

Charles Keledjian said,

Well, I don't think it is really a good comparison: you don't need skills to hit plants or dogs with a stick, but you if you crack a network that was designed by high-paid IT professionals and runs on costly software, then you have skills and that brain could be useful for legitimate purposes (plus, you don't want that brain to be working against you!)

Hard to get analogies spot on, but you are supposed to get a general concept from it at least lol. Point is, some people are worth helping out and pointing in the right direction, others are best left to the authorities lol.