Microsoft Helping Teen Hacker "Develop His Talent"

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It would seem that Microsoft has learned from Sony's mistakes and, instead of suing a 14 year old hacker, has decided to work with the kid instead.

According to Microsoft's Paul Rellis, the culprit responsible has been caught, and discovered to be a...14 year-old Irish kid. What's more, instead of punishing the boy or turning him over to the law, Rellis says that Microsoft is "working with the teenager to develop his talent" in an attempt to "help him use his skills for legitimate purposes".
 

Kenai

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Keep your friends close ... and your enemies closer ...
Smart move on M$
 

MrHood22

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Good move.

I'm sure it's a lot less likely for a hacker to target a "pro-hacker" company. Not necessarily saying MS is Pro-hacker but they could have taken this in a positive way (like they did) or in a negative way (exhibit A: Sony).
 

TheWeazmeister

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Good move.

I'm sure it's a lot less likely for a hacker to target a "pro-hacker" company. Not necessarily saying MS is Pro-hacker but they could have taken this in a positive way (like they did) or in a negative way (exhibit A: Sony).

+1 Indeed. Smart move.
 

clok1966

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Now I might be wrong but rewarding unlawfull acts does seem like a way to increase the ammount of people doing them. Geez you know how to steal cars, lets make an example of you, YOUR HIRED! to stop other cars from being stole we will plaster it all over the news THIEF gets job for being Thief...

I do think its great to learn from the people who are doing this, but glorifing it is only going to make more. I would think maybe somthing on the lines of "broke the law, pay for your crime" and MS maybe work some plee bargin for helping them.

Sorry no way breaking the law should ever be rewarded, and then glorified.

You can argue if its a good law or not, fact is hacking in this way is against the law.. untill that law is changed he is a criminal MS hired... and made more criminals think they can strike it rich by being bad GOOD show!
 

NickJames

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Now I might be wrong but rewarding unlawfull acts does seem like a way to increase the ammount of people doing them. Geez you know how to steal cars, lets make an example of you, YOUR HIRED! to stop other cars from being stole we will plaster it all over the news THIEF gets job for being Thief...

I do think its great to learn from the people who are doing this, but glorifing it is only going to make more. I would think maybe somthing on the lines of "broke the law, pay for your crime" and MS maybe work some plee bargin for helping them.

Sorry no way breaking the law should ever be rewarded, and then glorified.

You can argue if its a good law or not, fact is hacking in this way is against the law.. untill that law is changed he is a criminal MS hired... and made more criminals think they can strike it rich by being bad GOOD show!

You do realize this is exactly how it happens right? Should this be publicized? Probably not, but the ones who develop car alarms, home security, anti-virus software, etc.. who do you think they hire to help them with this? Who in the world can provide the best advice on how to break into a home, hack someones website or break into a car? A criminal, a thief, a hacker. Though you may not like it, it's the way the world works. Discovery Channel Show: "It Takes a Thief" anyone?
 

bucket

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The government regularly utilizes the talents of convicted criminals, it's nice to see a company in the private sector getting to do the same. :D
 

Ualdayan

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...and that's the way you do it!

Sony fanbois to the rescue, GO!

I don't think the situation is near the same. Sony removed a feature advertised as part of the product, hacker works to add feature back in, Sony goes after hacker at full force and pisses a bunch of people off.

In this case however, you just have some kid trying to steal information - you're not going to have any 'rallying' to his cause if they'd gone after him punitively. Question is - is it better that they are nice to him and try to steer him towards good, or should they punish him? Some would say 'well if you're nice, you just encourage more people to do it'. I say it's not a matter of if people WANT to do it, it's a matter of if people CAN do it, and few show the aptitude to be able to actually do it.
 

TwistedAegis

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I say it's not a matter of if people WANT to do it, it's a matter of if people CAN do it, and few show the aptitude to be able to actually do it.

I agree with this. MS obviously saw some sort of talent in this kids hack and thought it was worth their time. It isn't something everyone can do; if it was just some downloaded exploit I doubt they would have done the same thing.
 

TESLA

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The kid is also... a kid (14 years old).

I was a different person at 14 than I am today, and I am sure that the same is true for many persons, if not most.

I would much rather that they try to help the kid develop his talent in a positive way than punish him and possibly steer him in the other direction.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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Many companies won't hire the unemployed and Microsoft hires criminals. We're fucked.










Yes, I'm blowing it WAY out of proportion, I know. I'm just being funny.
 

Ualdayan

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Many companies won't hire the unemployed and Microsoft hires criminals. We're fucked.

Yes, I'm blowing it WAY out of proportion, I know. I'm just being funny.

You'll note they didn't say they hired him, and certainly nothing about paying him for a job. It sounds more akin to 'You showed an aptitude for understanding security matters, instead of attacking us though let us introduce you to some of our guys who run our security. Show you how it can be rewarding to work for the good side of protecting data.' Versus the alternative - go after him legally, permanently put a criminal mark on his record, and ensure that in the future he turns fully to the dark side because he can't get any legitimate jobs.
 

TheWeazmeister

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I agree with this. MS obviously saw some sort of talent in this kids hack and thought it was worth their time. It isn't something everyone can do; if it was just some downloaded exploit I doubt they would have done the same thing.

Yeah, MS is definitely intelligent enough to know the difference between a script kiddie and someone that actually has some talent. This is obviously the later that we are talking about.
 

DeathPrincess

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So good...they got caught? (anyway...phishing for MW2 players passwords via private messages...mad skills there kiddie...:rolleyes:)
 

Azhar

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You'll note they didn't say they hired him, and certainly nothing about paying him for a job. It sounds more akin to 'You showed an aptitude for understanding security matters, instead of attacking us though let us introduce you to some of our guys who run our security. Show you how it can be rewarding to work for the good side of protecting data.' Versus the alternative - go after him legally, permanently put a criminal mark on his record, and ensure that in the future he turns fully to the dark side because he can't get any legitimate jobs.

Well that's pretty obvious seeing how he's under 14 and can't legally work for Microsoft anyways. It's always nice of a company to play big brother to a misguided child. I bet his parents are ecstatic that Microsoft is attempting to clean him up where his parents could not.
 

TheWeazmeister

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So good...they got caught? (anyway...phishing for MW2 players passwords via private messages...mad skills there kiddie...:rolleyes:)

Yeah, obviously there has to be something more, as just the bit they mentioned wouldn't really justify the move they made, except for being altruistic.
 

DeathPrincess

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Yeah, obviously there has to be something more, as just the bit they mentioned wouldn't really justify the move they made, except for being altruistic.

My guess = PR stunt? :p Their rival has it's issues, and they try to show they know "how to handle things". Not that MS service's network security is significantly better (with the hotmail, cloud services etc etc break ins earlier this year and a 14yo child sending out phising PMs on XBL :eek:)
 

spamdie

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Its a PR stunt but the kids's 14 years old. They can only do so much by the books against the parents. And that will teach the kid nothing.

In my life I ran into an old school hacker. Basically 14 years old in the early 90's when the net was in the early early days. He basically told me he got busted by men in black suits and they sat him down. They pointed out his options which were. 1) We're watching you and you can continue and we'll ream your ass later or 2) stop and here's a list of people who will pay you to do this legally.

He picked option 2.

Has this been an adult doing it Microsoft would of made an example of the guy. And being under 18 doesn't mean you can't work. He can work for Microsoft part time. Depending on where he lives. He just can't do a full time job legally in the united states until he's 16 and has the highschool equivalent certification.
 

Bambi

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...and that's the way you do it!

Sony fanbois to the rescue, GO!

Not a fanboy but a 14 year old is different from the group of split Anon who for the most part tend to be anti corporate and have their utopian agenda.
 

trick_m0nkey

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Now I might be wrong but rewarding unlawfull acts does seem like a way to increase the ammount of people doing them. Geez you know how to steal cars, lets make an example of you, YOUR HIRED! to stop other cars from being stole we will plaster it all over the news THIEF gets job for being Thief...

I do think its great to learn from the people who are doing this, but glorifing it is only going to make more. I would think maybe somthing on the lines of "broke the law, pay for your crime" and MS maybe work some plee bargin for helping them.

Sorry no way breaking the law should ever be rewarded, and then glorified.

You can argue if its a good law or not, fact is hacking in this way is against the law.. untill that law is changed he is a criminal MS hired... and made more criminals think they can strike it rich by being bad GOOD show!

This isnt so much about rewarding bad behavior as an olive branch from Microsoft to the hacker community.
 

DarkStar02

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Messages
2,138
PHISHING IS SCAMMING , NOT HACKING

wtf microsoft? some kid is phishing peoples usernames and passwords and you decide to help him "develop his talent"?

"No, you see, xbox live accounts are practically useless. What you really want is credit card numbers.. that's where the money is at".
 

dajet24

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So now every single hacker is gonna think they got a 6 figure job lined up if they hack MS... Unless this kid is some kind of Hacker Savant this is not a good idea imo.
 

CMD

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Good move.

I'm sure it's a lot less likely for a hacker to target a "pro-hacker" company. Not necessarily saying MS is Pro-hacker but they could have taken this in a positive way (like they did) or in a negative way (exhibit A: Sony).

Now if they can only teach the gov about starting big never ending wars that we don't talk about in the news much.
 

Emission

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Now I might be wrong but rewarding unlawfull acts does seem like a way to increase the ammount of people doing them. Geez you know how to steal cars, lets make an example of you, YOUR HIRED! to stop other cars from being stole we will plaster it all over the news THIEF gets job for being Thief...

I do think its great to learn from the people who are doing this, but glorifing it is only going to make more. I would think maybe somthing on the lines of "broke the law, pay for your crime" and MS maybe work some plee bargin for helping them.

Sorry no way breaking the law should ever be rewarded, and then glorified.

You can argue if its a good law or not, fact is hacking in this way is against the law.. untill that law is changed he is a criminal MS hired... and made more criminals think they can strike it rich by being bad GOOD show!

Ironically, being a "criminal" in this case is a way of showing their talents, and I'd rather that the person get hired to do a legitimate job and change their ways as opposed to rotting in prison and become angry over the whole situation, potentially committing worse crimes in the future.

It would be a waste of talent.
 

vasta

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621
Man i did all the right things when I was that age, played computer games all day and night when all these years later it is obvious that was the wrong thing to do.

I should've become a "hacker" or I should've learned how to make hats and weapon models for Team Fortress 2 so I could sit on my ass for a little while longer while the money came in
 

stormy1

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A friend of mine was in charge of a schools network and taught computer courses in a private HS and he did this for kids he caught trying to hack the systems. He sat down with the parents and the principle and discussed it. If the kid seemed to be decent but misguided he/she was given jobs to do on the student network for a grade. It became his/her job to help protect what they tried to damage.
Many of them went on to get full scholarships in computer related fields.
 

Escher

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Well, there goes the hopes and dreams of script kiddies everywhere ...

UPDATE - Microsoft has since contacted Kotaku to inform us that the original report is inaccurate.
The comments attributed to Microsoft Ireland's Managing Director Mr. Paul Rellis, when speaking at a business event last week, are inaccurate. He never said anything close to what is being reported in some Irish media. Mr. Rellis was commenting on various developers and hobbyists using drivers that allow other devices to display the raw data output from Kinect for Xbox 360 sensors. Microsoft can also confirm that the company has not offered to mentor a 14-year-old from Tallaght who purportedly was related to a phishing scheme.
 
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