Child finds flaws in mobile games
Published: 8th Aug 2011 11:01:30
A novel class of security problems have been found lurking in many mobile games by a ten-year old hacker.
Going by the handle CyFi, the hacker presented her findings at the DefCon hacker conference held in Las Vegas.
She found that advancing the clock on a tablet or phone can, in many games, open a loophole that can be exploited.
CyFi discovered the bug after getting bored with the pace of farming games and seeking ways to speed them up.
Many farm-based games force players to wait hours before they can harvest a crop grown from virtual seeds. As a result CyFi, who has not revealed her real name, started fiddling with the clock on her handset to see if she could produce crops more quickly.
While many games detect and block clock-based cheating, CyFi found ways round these security measures. Disconnecting a phone from wi-fi and only advancing a clock by a small amounts helped to open up the loophole as it forced the game into a state not tested by its original creators.
Details about what this bug opens up have not been revealed but such flaws are often used to let an attacker run their own code and get access to useful or saleable data.
CyFi's discovery has since been verified by independent security researchers.
The exploit has been found to work in versions of games for both Apple and Android gadgets. Exactly which games are vulnerable has not been revealed to give their creators time to fix them.
CyFi gave a presentation about her findings at DefCon Kids, the first meeting at the larger Def Con hacker conference, aimed at younger people who are interested in tinkering with hardware and software.
A sponsored session at DefCon Kids gave a cash prize to the youngster who found the most games suffering this loophole in 24 hours.
At 18:51:48 in WalesA decision not to publish a document on the conclusions of a consultation on the planned M4 relief road has been criticised.
At 18:50:35 in EnglandA man accused of murdering a woman at a homeless shelter in Southampton has been cleared, after a pathologist said her death was not suspicious.
At 18:41:19 in EnglandThree brothers have been found guilty of the manslaughter of 37-year-old Pawel Pacholak in January 2013.
At 18:39:57 in SportKimberley Renicks won Scotland's first gold medal of the Commonwealth Games with an impressive victory in the judo.
At 18:35:21 in HeadlinesMyanmar has invited the aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres to resume its work in Rakhine state, which has been plagued by sectarian violence.
At 18:30:29 in Northern IrelandThe Republic of Ireland abstained from a vote to hold an official investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza because it wanted swifter action using existing mechanisms, its foreign minister has said.
At 18:21:22 in WalesA health board has apologised after staff at a Gwynedd hospital refused to admit an 11-year-old boy who had burned his stomach with a spilt cup of tea.
At 18:18:38 in EnglandMaggots from a dead pigeon fell from the ceiling of a club on to audience members during a comedy performance.
At 18:15:47 in EnglandThree people have been jailed for kidnapping a woman and forcing her into prostitution.
At 18:14:18 in SportReport to follow at end of match.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Child finds flaws in mobile games [Online] (Updated 8th Aug 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/176168/Child-finds-flaws-in-mobile-games [Accessed 24th Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
A man accused of murdering a woman at a homeless shelter in Southampton has been cleared, after a pathologist said her death was not suspicious.
Taxpayers could be hit with a bill for up to £700m after the government reportedly lost a legal battle with Fujitsu over a failed NHS IT system.
The Republic of Ireland abstained from a vote to hold an official investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza because it wanted swifter action using existing mechanisms, its foreign minister has said.
A drugs mule from Ayr has been jailed for three years after he admitted attempting to smuggle heroin worth almost £13,000 into Shetland.
Kimberley Renicks won Scotland's first gold medal of the Commonwealth Games with an impressive victory in the judo.
Twitter has become the latest tech firm to admit that most of its staff members are men.