A 10-year-old girl has uncovered a security flaw in popular farm-themed smartphone games after becoming bored at their slow pace of crop growth.
The girl -- whose real name has not been released, but goes by the hacker name CyFi -- presented her findings at the DefCon conference in its inaugural DefCon Kids Village, which caters to underage hackers. DefCon is one of the world's largest annual hacker conferences, held each year in Las Vegas.
CyFi reportedly discovered that she could manually advance the clock in farm-style video games -- such as the immensely popular "Farmville" -- to speed up crop growth, allowing her to move through the game faster.
"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?'" she told CNET.
Although many games block such forms of manipulation, CyFi told the media outlet she figured out how to circumvent those blocks by disconnecting the device from WiFi and then advancing the clock in small increments.
The young hacker reportedly did not release the names of the smart phone apps she had cracked in order to give the affected companies time to strengthen their security software.
DefCon's first program for minors, which featured discussions and tutorials for budding hackers between the ages of 8 and 16, had about 60 attendees.