9-year-old cybersecurity expert hacks Android smartphone in minutes

Wondering how secure your Android smartphone is? Well, a 9-year-old cybersecurity expert has demonstrated how hackers could steal contacts, call logs and messages within just 15 minutes.

Speaking at the Security B-sides Conference last week, Harmony School of Science third-grader Reuben Paul took to the stage to promote safer smartphone security. His Keynote speech stressed the importance of being extra careful when downloading apps, showing how even seemingly safe software can be used by cybercriminals to access sensitive data and snoop on your location.

According to Fox, the 9-year-old Paul completed the hack within a quarter of an hour, claiming that it can happen anywhere, to anyone and at any time.

“If a child can do it then a regular hacker can do it… so I just want everybody to be aware [and to] be more careful when you download games and stuff like that,” he said.

Paul is a rising star of the computer security industry, speaking at a number of other conferences as well as acting as CEO of Prudent Games; a company which attempts to teach people about threats through educational apps. The company’s games include Cracker Proof, which teaches good password practice, and Crack Me If you Can, which teaches all about brute force attacks.

Paul’s speech at the Security B-sides Conference again highlighted how important it to be cautious when downloading apps and games. For more advice on avoiding ‘bad’ apps, remember the advice from our video below.

Photo: YouTube screen grab from video uploaded by ISC2TV

Author , ESET

  • TV

    The CIA and FBI better hope that this kid will be on their side when he grows up.

    • tk


  • Adam O

    Sooo…He’s a regular child (as you put it) or a cybersecurity expert (as you put it)? You are more than dumb. You are irresponsibly stupid.

    • Joe

      Actually, the former is how the child puts it himself. It’s a direct quote.

  • Derpidy Herpster

    This is obvious. Downloading from sources other than Google Play and the Amazon App Store is DANGEROUS. Enabling installation from unknown sources and downloading strange apps of unknown origin is like parking your car in a bad neighbourhood and leaving it unlocked with the keys still in the ignition. It might survive today, but tomorrow is another story.

  • BayAreaPakhtun

    WOW! Amazing is not enough…

  • NoBody

    9 year old cyber security expert?? .. Really? You expect me to believe that? Suuure.

    • gabevee3

      I was building radios at 9 years old. If the state of electronics was what it is today back then (1971) I would probably be right up there with him. We have 5 year olds writing apps for iphones etc. Not too far a stretch to appreciate a 9 year olds’ accomplishments. That he’s a CEO of anything is what I find difficult to accept.

      • NoBody

        Yea, except idle tinkering with radios is something amateurs do. I was fooling around with old computer hardware as a youth but I’d never dare call myself an ‘expert’! That title belongs to someone who has years, and years of experience to backup their knowledge and a reputation built based on their own success! Something tells me this boy still needs and is still receiving help from adults and is taking credit for it as the ‘expert’. Foolish.

  • Rick Brown

    i bet he can not get pass the iris eye scan

  • Mike Lesesne

    Sponsored by APPLE.

    • dj7u

      It’s well know iPhones are more secure than Androids. The US Govt has changed from Blackberry starting with the iPhone 5.

      • Synacks

        It’s not well known because it’s not true for the most part. If you come to America where everybody mostly has flagship phones and mid-range phones at worst, you won’t see people with viruses or malware or getting exploited.

        I can’t speak for the rest of the world but pretty much every phone that comes to USA is thoroughly tested by Google and the manufacturer AND the wireless carrier so you won’t see problems like this.

        I’m an Android and iPhone troubleshooter as my side job and in the past 6 years I’ve only see 1 issue on both devices.

      • Al theoberg

        that’s what they want you to think

      • Jon

        Boeing black is based on Android. Apple phones are like unlocked cars in a garage. They are secure because they are limited. Apple is having to open up their system. 3rd party keyboards-app communication which makes them more vulnerable because they are untested having sitting in garage all this time. Apple didn’t even know enough to limit number of login attempts on their cloud.

      • Shivers

        Obama still loves his BB10 and I don’t think he wants to give it up anytime soon.

  • nick

    why is he wearing his dad’s suit?

  • sridhar

    The kid looks like a nerd.
    The next Bill Gates I guess.

    • Shivers

      Bill Gates and Satya Nadella’s love child

  • MyDolos

    Windows Phones are more secure than both, and crash less. Just saying.

  • DrFace

    Tell him to do that to a BlackBerry.

  • smart boy on smart phones and trying to outsmart the smart criminals…carry on and make this world a safer place…i take note as i use an Android

  • Dorian Grey

    Woh woh easier!

  • prince88

    #genius so yong and so genus. sur he wll do more

  • prince88

    what a geniu. hop u wll not acces mine

  • Apple are really spending big to crack down Andriod.

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