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Microsoft Approaches Young Hacker Diplomatically To Avoid Backlash

Sony’s recent nightmarish experiences with hackers has made Microsoft rethink their policies regarding how to engage with hackers.

If we are to believe the words of Microsoft Corp.’s Ireland General Manager Paul Rellis, his company has learned a valuable lesson from the recent assault on Sony’s worldwide network, and has decided to approach hackers more diplomatically, TechEye reports.

Apparently a 14-year-old Irish boy was caught trying to break into the Xbox LIVE network, but instead of prosecuting him, Microsoft has decided to help him become a better coder. Microsoft hopes that by helping the young hacker he will become a productive, white-hat hacker in the future instead of an online trouble-maker, and that they company will earn some respect from the hacker community in the process.

Sony's problems began when they prosecuted the hacker Geohot for jailbreaking the PlayStation 3. Jailbreaking a device allows users to run their own code and, while it is controversial, its legality is still a matter of dispute.

Sony's harsh reaction to an activity that most online hackers consider relatively harmless brought about the attacks that have cost Sony more than $100 million in damages according to their own reports.