02/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 05:01

Child finds flaws in mobile games

Category: Technology

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.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC 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 2nd Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Transfer deadline day: Radamel Falcao deal caps record summer

    Radamel Falcao's loan move to Manchester United was the major deadline day signing as Premier League summer spending hit a record £835m.
  • Musician Ben Watt makes Samuel Johnson non-fiction list

    Everything But The Girl musician Ben Watt has been announced as part of the 15-strong longlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.
  • Scottish independence: Does the rest of the UK care?

    With the Scottish referendum just weeks away, the rest of the UK is speaking up. Some want the union to stay intact; others think Scotland should go its own way. But how much do people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland care about what happens?
  • Scottish independence: MP Jim Murphy resuming campaign tour

    Labour MP Jim Murphy is resuming his street tour of Scotland ahead of the independence referendum, following its suspension last week.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • US attacks al-Shabab militants in Somalia

    The US has carried out a military operation against al-Shabab militants in Somalia, officials say.