The Weekly Geek: A ten-year-old girl who hacks video games, a first look at Hathaway’s Catwoman


I’ve been very pleased about the upcoming generation of young women in science and technology lately. First, there was a little girl who helped make her own video game at Toronto Game Jam. Then, young women swept Google’s first Science Fair. Now, a ten-year-old girl is making headlines as an accomplished hacker who has found new exploits in Android and iOS games.

According to Cnet, young CyFi (her hacker alias) was inspired to go in and mess with her games out of impatience.

CyFi said, “It was hard to make progress in the game, because it took so long for things to grow. So I thought, ‘why don’t I just change the time?'” Most of the games she discovered the exploit in have time-dependent factors. For example, planting corn might take 10 real-time hours to mature in the game. Manually advancing the phone or tablet’s clock forced the game further ahead than it really was, opening up the exploit.

She presented her findings at the very first DefCon Kids (part of Hacker conference DefCon 19), and according to The Mary Sue (who posted the best photograph ever to go along with the story), her “zero-day exploit has since been confirmed by independent researchers, and some developers are already taking steps to block her hack.”

Say what you will about hacking, this girl is one smart cookie (and apparently also a Girl Scout, talented downhill skier and improv artist, all by the age of ten). Good on you, CyFi, for not only figuring out how to make all those unnecessarily manipulative farming sims more fun but for recognizing that there was a problem with them in the first place.

If the fact that a ten-year-old is swifter on the uptake than most of us are (with technology, at the very least) has you feeling a little inadequate, fear not. Warner Bros. has released the very first image of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman from the upcoming The Dark Knight Returns, and it’s a good one. Sitting pretty (and looking badass) on a slick-looking ride, Hathaway’s version is looking about 100 times cooler than the digital version that will appear in Batman: Arkham City later this year.

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