Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Xbox Live hacking is a very real problem

12:30 PM on 01.13.2012 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

Microsoft says that recent thefts targeting Xbox Live users are isolated incidents, and often tries to portrays the problems as phishing scams -- effectively blaming the consumer. However, an eyebrow-raising amount of comments and emails seem to suggest that it's a big more common than that. 

A few days ago, I spoke with Susan Taylor, the hacking victim who famously exposed Microsoft's awful customer service. She let me know that of the two hundred emails she's received since resolving her own situation, one hundred and forty were from customers who have had similar experiences. Other emails came from those who have used black market sites -- places that sell accounts loaded with games bought using stolen Microsoft Points. 

"Quite a few people have also questioned the third party servers and services, but I am not seeing a trend in the stories I have read," Susan told me. "Some people have EA accounts connected to their XBL accounts, some people don't; some people have PayPal linked, others just their cards; most have never played FIFA 12.

"I personally have Uplay and Raptr accounts linked to my Xbox account. Unless people are outright lying to me, there is definitely not a specific service (aside from XBL itself) that absolutely everyone who has had accounts compromised has in common. Microsoft's arguments are looking very weak at best."

Microsoft has indeed tried to blame a variety of third-party services. One of my contacts said that a customer service rep blamed third-party servers, while FIFA 12 has been accused of allowing exploits to take place. The one unifying strand in all these stories is Xbox Live, however. 

A security flaw on Xbox.com has allegedly been discovered by one victim, who learned that indefinite password attempts allows a hacker to force his way into any Gamertag they like, just by learning the corresponding email address (which Microsoft itself makes easy) and assaulting the site with a password generator. Whether this is how the hackers are getting in remains to be seen, but it's the most credible idea so far, and it once again points to Microsoft. 

For right now, the only advice one can give to those users wishing to protect themselves is this -- do not have a credit card attached to your Xbox Live Gamertag. You can renew your subscription or add Microsoft Points using pre-paid cards bought in stores, without the need to open a conduit to your bank account on Microsoft servers. It seems to be the best way to keep yourself safe.

From what we've seen, this is a very real problem, but there are practical steps you can take to defend yourself. You're going to have to, because it seems Microsoft doesn't have what it takes to look after its own customers.



Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
In my haste to finally factory reset my tablet, I erased a blog I had worked on. Thankfully, it's fresh in my mind. It's another MGS blog, but it goes the opposite way of my last MGS blog. Pray this guy is not your husbando, for he is shit.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Just ate a disgusting amount of sugary wonders in a Fat Tuesday blowout. Chocolate (birthday) cake, Oreos, brownies, cookie dough, and some creme brule thing. Satiation by way of eat-'til-you-puke is what Shenanigans says!
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
Is there any real difference between the PS3 and the PS4 versions of Valkyria Chronicles?
Shinta avatarShinta
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Say whaaaaaat?
Gundy avatarGundy
Voting for Broforce made me think of the most American person that could ever exist. President Michael Wilson!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
By the way, that IGPX collection is a new release. It's the first time the show is available in a complete package, and the first time it's been available in any format in about 10 years. [url]http://amzn.to/20JSMCd[/url]
gajknight avatargajknight
This is your daily reminder that Taxi Driver is the best movie ever and if you disagree then all I can say is: God, you're square.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
I love when someone at work tries to claim you screwed up on something and it completely backfires on them. I try to help them save face afterwards, but secretly I'm like...
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I still love Tearaway Unfolded despite the shit pacing and hell yeah I'm going for that plat. It'll be my 2nd plat, first since Sly 2 Remastered back in 2012. So it's been a while. gotta beat the game first tho :P
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Tearaway Unfolded's final level is my least favorite kind. Life is Strange-esque linear path (through a void) of moments from the game. Bleh.
Shinta avatarShinta
Gravity Rush Remastered looks reallllllyyyyyy nice. Video and screenshots didn't quite do it justice. Seeing it in person is much better.
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
We are T-7 days until the release of Street Fighter V! There will be a blog released on the February 15, only one day before the release. This blog is about reflecting on Street Fighter IV.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Can good videogame music sugarcoat a game so much that we forget it's a bad game?
lewness avatarlewness
My Wii U came back from repairs... It does not recognize me anymore. It does not remember anything - Xenoblade, Smash, everything. Also, the game disc that was trapped when I sent it is in a separate sleeve, cracked. RIP data.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Separated at birth? [img]https://38.media.tumblr.com/dc4c946f418196e87160398f851c19fb/tumblr_nuwhksbSVu1sjh5bfo1_400.gif[/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I got my RNDM Viynl by Mega Ran last night but forgot to post a picture. Enjoying it so far though.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Damn, my 26" monitor just crapped out on me. S'what I get for buying knockoff brands I guess. Back to the 19" non-HD monitor for me.
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
I miss mapping :( I was thinking about learning GameMaker, but now I'm leaning toward Unreal Engine 4, maybe to map for the new UT?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I've spent the past 3 hours with that Lost Planet spinoff EX Troopers after finding it on sale for $20US on Amazon. It would've been great if Capcom had released it here. Or if they decided 2 turn that IP into Monster Hunter w/ guns set in an open world
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -