What Does Your Ten Year Old Do? This One Hacks Mobile Games!

Her pseudonym is  CyFi. She does not like it when the cabbage in her farm-style game takes hours (in real time) to grow. So, what does she do? She hacks these games to make the crops grow faster. Meet CyFi  from  DefCon Kids. CyFi is just ten years old and she is the co-founder of DefCon kids.


This budding hacker, who goes by the pseudonym CyFi, has discovered a zero-day exploit in Android and iOS games. This class of exploits lets her fast-forward through some games by fiddling with the clock on the mobile device. Some other games were stubborn not to obey CyFi’s hacks. She pwned them by turning off the Wi-Fi and increasing the time in fragments. The Wi-Fi on these devices was probably used to detect abnormal usage by sending data back to the game servers.

Her crops grow faster and she is content with it. CyFi calls her vulnerability the Time Traveler. However, she has decided not to name the affected games.  Independent security researchers have also identified this as a new class of security vulnerabilities in mobile games.

The matter will come to light at a new addition to the DefCon conference, the DefCon Kids. DefCon Kids aims to foster the hacker culture among young and budding enthusiasts.

Seth Rosenblatt from CNET  had this to say-

CyFi’s mother, who must remain anonymous to protect her daughter’s identity, told CNET that at the end of CyFi’s presentation at  DefCon Kids  they would offer a $100 reward to the young hacker who found the most games with this exploit over the following 24 hours. The reward is sponsored by AllClearID, an identity protection company that is also sponsoring the DefCon Kids. This is the first year of DefCon Kids programming at the conference, a reflection of the fact that members of the hacking community are getting older and raising families.

This is not a serious security breach, considering that it will not result in any stolen data or anything remotely similar. However, it is a new class of hacks that will embarrass a number of Android and iOS game developers.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.