The Microsoft machine continues to slay hackers on Xbox Live

A few months ago, Microsoft dropped something of an atomic bomb on Xbox 360 hackers/modders by banning their machines from Xbox Live if they detected unapproved changes. It cut a swathe through those who broke the terms and conditions of XBL, rendering targetted Xboxes completely dead to online connectivity. Even though I’d never modded my store-bought console, I somehow got banned too … but I don’t hold a grudge against those thieving wankers.
Now that time has passed and the genocide forgotten by some, Microsoft has again raised its almighty scythe and initiated a fresh bunch of console annihilation. The Max Console forums are alight with warnings to all people playing “backup” copies of games that the slaughter has begun anew.
Despite Microsoft’s hunter-killers on the prowl, there are some Xbox 360s out there able to violate the rules undetected. The firmware hack known as iExtreme and the BenQ hack drive are apparently serving a number of gamers fine, although this hasn’t been proven yet.
Yet another chapter in the long struggle between corporations and pirates. For now, I’m going to routinely check up on my latest 360 to make sure I haven’t been banned again. I swear copper, I’m an innocent man!
James Stephanie Sterling