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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 April, 2004, 21:19 GMT 22:19 UK
Teenager comes to Microsoft's aid
Matt Thompson
Mr Thompson said he had to convince Microsoft of the problem
A teenage computer whizz from Aberdeen has averted a potential crisis at software giant Microsoft.

IT specialist Matt Thompson was barely out of college when he discovered a security glitch in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

The 19-year-old informed the company and worked with them for six months to solve the problem.

But all he received for helping protect Microsoft from hackers was a mention on its website.

Mr Thompson discovered a flaw in the company's Jet Database Engine while carrying out work for a client at the firm where he works, Aberdeen IT.

I got put through to the security response team and that's when we started working together, passing bits of code back and forth
Matt Thompson
The bug allowed an attacker to take complete control of an affected system, install programs, and view, change, or delete data.

Mr Thompson said that he initially had difficulty convincing Microsoft it had a problem.

He said: "At first I was put through to a load of different departments because they thought I was a home user with a problem.

"Then I got put through to the security response team and that's when we started working together, passing bits of code back and forth."

Microsoft security update
The teenager got a personal vote of thanks
The teenager's efforts won him an online acknowledgement on Microsoft's website.

In a statement the company told BBC Scotland it would like to thank Matt for working with it to help protect customers.

His boss, Aberdeen IT managing director Steve Lai, said: "In terms of what he achieved for Microsoft that acknowledgement is nothing, really nothing.

"For an organisation the size of Microsoft, it could have done more."

But Mr Thompson said it was a great feeling to have been thanked by such a major player in the world of computing.

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