Now, rather than seek punishment for the boy, Microsoft is working with him to develop his talents and channel them into more legitimate avenues.
Millions of computer users were alerted last month after the computer giant discovered one of its most popular games, Modern Warfare 2, had been hacked, leaving users at risk of “phishing”, a sophisticated form of identity theft.
Microsoft feared a repeat of a hacking attack against Sony’s Playstation, which resulted in the personal data of 77 million people, including some credit card details, being stolen.
Now the general manager of Microsoft Ireland, Paul Rellis, has revealed that a 14-year-old schoolboy from Tallaght was behind the attempt to hack into its network.
Mr Rellis did not reveal the identity of the schoolboy, but told delegates at Bank of Ireland Business Week, at which he was a keynote speaker yesterday, that the company would be working with the boy, although he did not reveal in what capacity.
However, there was some confusion later as the PR company representing Microsoft, Q4, said that this was not the case.
Mr Rellis spoke about how the Xbox was the company’s most successful commercial product and how a successful hacking attempt could have cost it millions of euro in revenue.
At the end of April, Microsoft even issued a statement warning its millions of Xbox Live users that they could be the victims of “phishing” while playing Modern Warfare 2.