Summary: It’s not a joke; empty password lets you into a proprietary system designed by Microsoft
I HONESTLY had to check the date of this article [via] from the BBC, ensuring it’s not from April 1st. It says that a five-year-old boy “discovered that if he simply pressed the space bar to fill up the password field, the system would let him in to his dad’s account.”
What system? The system which NSA uses to read people's conversations. It’s a Microsoft system known as Xbox. Yes, you can’t make this stuff up! MinceR called it “Microsoft® Security™” after DaemonFC had posted the link in IRC.
Richard Stallman likes to tell the story of how, way back in the hacker days of MIT, he and others would develop systems to accept blank passwords in order to get around artificial limitations imposed by management on users. Microsoft appears to be taking it further than Stallman did, even decades later.
What’s infuriating about this type of neglect/deliberate back doors is that the more insecure Microsoft systems become, the more money Microsoft makes (read the article “Not dead yet: Dutch, British governments [i.e. taxpayers] pay to keep Windows XP alive”). We wrote about this not too long ago. █