Microsoft rewards young Irish hacker for Xbox shenanigans

Microsoft-LogoIn a move reminiscent of the Catch Me If You Can plot, the Microsoft Corporation is allowing a young Irish hacker to redeem himself by giving him an opportunity rather than a fine.

Some of you may remember the Xbox support page having an alert about “potential phishing attempts” for anyone playing Modern Warfare 2 last month. The alert was overshadowed by the latest PlayStation network breach since the Xbox 360 problems were restricted to one title and were centered around the multiplayer matchmaking.

Still, Microsoft officials were concerned about player’s personal information being compromised. What originally started as a problem for the PlayStation network ballooned into a catastrophe which compromised 100 million players their personal information — including credit cards — and costing Sony $170 million; as well as a loss in reputation the company may never recover.

The phishing scam, which sent a worldwide alert to millions of gamers, was apparently the work of a 14-year old Irish school boy from Tallaght in Dublin, Ireland. Deciding to go a different route than Sony’s with George Hotz, Microsoft has decided to recruit the teenager’s skills.

Paul Rellis, General Manger of Microsoft in Ireland stated in a keynote address at the Bank of Ireland Business Week that Microsoft plans to work with the Dubliner, saying they will “develop his talent for legitimate purposes”, though Microsoft’s PR company Q4 has responded with contradictory statements.

No word on how exactly Microsoft will be working with the teen — whether he will be put to work in a paying network security job right away or if Microsoft simply means to mentor him. Who says crime doesn’t pay?