11 Aug 2011

Girl Scout hacks mobile app

A 10-year-old hacker took the stage at the recent DefCon computer security conference in Las Vegas to tell crowds about the vulnerability she discovered in mobile gaming applications, CNET reports.

The hacker, a girl scout who goes by the handle CyFi, fiddled with her mobile device’s clock after she grew impatient with farm-style games that made her wait for her crops to grow, according to the news source. Although this sort of hack is well-known and most programs guard against it, CyFi discovered effective work-arounds, including disconnecting her phone from its wireless connection and turning the clock ahead incrementally.

CyFi termed her hack “Time Traveler,” and in her presentation brief wrote that app developers could learn something about security from a girl scout, PC World reports.

DefCon included a youth conference for this first time this year. Activities included hardware hacking and codebreaking, and attendees participated in workshops on topics such as Google hacking and social engineering, according to the official conference website. About 60 kids between the ages of 8 and 16 attended, The Associated Press reports.

Hackers compromised the popular mobile gaming application Angry Birds hours after it launched on the Google Chrome web browser in May, allowing players access to all the game’s levels.