There are two routes when it comes to hackers. You can either prosecute them and subsequently have your ass handed to you by them (Sony) or you can perhaps recognize their talents. Microsoft hired the kid who hacked them. Update: The photo previously accompanying this post was incorrectly attributed, is of another kid, and unrelated to the story. Sorry for the confusion.
The rise of Dublin teen "Jake" (last name unknown) started when he cracked into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's servers to set up a phishing scam. Which kind of makes him a little shit! But Microsoft figured out the con, realized he wasn't part of the Anon marauders that have turned Sony's internet existence to a digital hell, and tried to set him on the straight and narrow: Hacker News reports MS is going to help Jake "develop his talent for legitimate purposes."
This might sound like a cowardly copout, but it's probably good business—if this kid's canny enough to break in at 14, how good will he be with a few years of Microsoft training under his belt? Very good. Just don't let your redheaded Irish weapon turn against you, guys. [via The Atlantic]
Update: Our comrades at Kotaku received a statement from Microsoft denying the entire thing:
The comments attributed to Microsoft Ireland's Managing Director Mr. Paul Rellis, when speaking at a business event last week, are inaccurate. He never said anything close to what is being reported in some Irish media. Mr. Rellis was commenting on various developers and hobbyists using drivers that allow other devices to display the raw data output from Kinect for Xbox 360 sensors. Microsoft can also confirm that the company has not offered to mentor a 14-year-old from Tallaght who purportedly was related to a phishing scheme.
The plot thickens! Or perhaps there was no plot at all. Cue dramatic music.
Update: We've been informed by members of the family of the person in the story that photo of the initial person displayed in the photograph is not the person in the story.