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back to article MS stops hacked hardware accessing Xbox Live

Microsoft has begun booting owners of modified-firmware Xbox 360 games consoles off of its Xbox Live online service, an array of postings on fan forums have revealed. Microsoft's message to Xbox 360 hackers Microsoft's message to Xbox 360 hackers who log on to Xbox Live The move appears to centre on users who've patched their …

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At last common sense

I welcome this whole heartily, why users should have to put up with a bunch of freeloaders. I had got stung from this before when I sold my old XBOX with out removing my XBOX live account, a very bad mistake the next owner then proceeded to use my account. When the 360 came out and I started playing Halo I found that I was banned because of this cheat. I say kick them all off

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Not just hacked hardware

http://majornelson.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!FAB4B8088A70F52!590.entry

According to the comments there, several people have had their 'clean' xbox 360's banned too. Almost looks like the screening software looking for modified consoles are made by the same programmer(s) that made WGA, and surely (as the US Army can testify) noone was falsely accused of having pirated windows copies

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ha ha

legit backup copies my arse.. whats that i can smell *snif snif*

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Anonymous Coward

Innocent Users?

Hi There,

What about the innocent users that have been banned the forums are full of people who have been banned and their consoles are not modified.

one live user works for Game and has a second hand console from the shop he works. He states Game follow checks provided by MS to spot modded consoles and all his seals are intact. So why is he banned?

What about all the people who bought a second hand console that had been modded and they have no knowledge of its status?

MS should wake up there will always be piracy and then there will be people on low income who cannot afford to buy a new disc everytime the 360 scratches it (because of the known hardware problem).

In a few days time the people who were not banned that do have a modded console will have the latest firmware that will allow them to carry on. MS will stop that in a few months then there will be another firmware release etc etc. if ms didnt spend so much cash on trying to prevent this then they could reduce the costs to the consumer which in turn means that people wouldnt need the copies.

one more thing it doesent help when MS charge european gamers twice the price of US gamers.

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inappropriate behaviour

It is really too bad that the software giant does not also have a "no tolerance policy" towards other "inappropriate behavior" like leveraging monopoly market share and causing FUD in customers of rival products...

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Replace the NAT router with an Xbox?

Is that what the scren says? I know I can use an old Xbox as a media player, but was unawares of it's use as a NAT router.

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M$ takes headshots - one console at a time

Wow. It's about time something has been done about this.

However, it'll be about a week or three until the next hack is done and renders this measure useless.

Nice idea, but not going to be effective in the long term. Reminds me of the XP and Vista keys and activation procedures - it was ok for a while but then, workarounds were developed.

So long there is software and people are developing it, there WILL be loopholes, bugs and cracks.

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Microsoft freebie with next version of 360

Microsoft will be including a pair of handcuffs in the next revision of their console due out in July. Not satisfied with the limitations of their Authentication Software Support and the threat of the Wii, Microsoft will now require gamers to wear the handcuffs when playing the games.

Not even the cunning one's who don't wear the handcuffs will be able to get round the system, since they will be motion sensitive and must be worn to play.

An agreement with the relative Blood Donation services in each country is also being currently discussed.

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Antiquated giant goes after astute coders, again...

What on eath does this firm think it's playing at? They try to sell machines that despite being genuine computers, are supposedly restricted to only running that which the great god $soft has personally approved. What do they want to do? Kill off imagination and innovation? The only way they can tell what modifications have been made to hardware that they have sold (you rmemeber the term 'sold' surely, it involves transference of *ownership* - which used to mean that the new 'owner' could then use the device in any way s/he sees fit) is to spy on the data sent up the comlink. Seeing as the device is in total control of what bytes get sent, and seing as how it is *so* difficult to prevent particular uses of a device subsequent to someone else *owning* it, I think they're on to something like a losing streak here.

When will people see that in this day of instant file sharing there is absolutely no point in attempting to charge by copy. It makes as much sense as trying to charge per usage of a CD on someone's CD shelf during a house party.

The solution, is so obvious that it would be in place by now, were it not for the fact that the biggest money players (the RIAA and MPAA) stand to lose a large proportion of their income (unless they miraculously acquire 21st century thought processes) for the simple reason that their principle activity, duplicating and distributing media at hyperinflated prices, has become redundant.

Who needs to walk to the nearest music shop and buy a copy of a piece of music imprinted onto a very perishable plastic substrate when they can click a couple of buttons on their computer and rapidly gain a digitised version of the same onto a duplicable hard drive file? Why would anyone bother? What these people (the music distribtution industry) don't realise is that they are, effectively, already dead. It's just that they refuse the loan of a shovel.

Distributing data on pieces of plastic died at about the beginning of the last decade. Since then more and more people have acquired multi megabit network connections to virtually anywhere in the world. Why waste time and energy going in search of a hard-copy when the data is accessible by a mouse click or two?

The only common ground between those who love media and those who love profit-line is that the artists *must* be paid for their contribution to humanity. That said, the get-rich-media-distributors are less concerned about the artist being paid than they are about themselves getting rich, as evidenced by the low returns they offer whenever they can get away with it. Anyhow, the common aim would easily be reached by the sale of universal media-licences. The licence grants you the rights to use any piece of work submited to the central publishing server. The central publishing server needn't be too expensive in these days of cheap computing and cheaper bandwidth, and because it offers the fastest possible rate of transfer and the most reliable content, a sufficiently high proportion of users would choose it as their source to guarantee its demand to be representative of the overall demand for any given work. This then renders it easy to properly distribute the revenue earnt among the producers of the work.

Checking up on the presence of a licence would be as easy as checking up on the registration number of a car (motherboard serial combined with easy change of ownership or upgrade of hardware - exactly as DVLA, the UK vehicle licencing folk, do for cars) - it would become much harder to disguise content as legal because one licence covers all, and the lack of a licence covers any. Inside of it you could 'roll up' a streaming licence, provided the centralised streaming distribution didn't add extreme overheads.

If done that way then on point of sale, there could be either a licence included in the price, or a signed disclaimer stating that you have no intention of using the PC to access digital media. How simple can you get? No wonder the RIAA are petrified of the idea as it immediately illuminates how antiquated and unsustainable their entire business model is. Plus, if you sit and do the sums, the artists would be of the order of ten time better off for the work they produce than they are under the current sharks. Another fact the RIAA would rather no one knew.

As a final appealing benefit (to the libertarians perhaps) is that done this way, because the cost of a submission is so low, otherwise unknown artists could upload their content, and provided a threshold is reached (perhaps 10 copies downloaded) to cover the setup costs, they would immediately start getting paid exactly what they earn. No awkward producers or PR folk to convince, just upload it, ket people know, and wait for the revenue to come trickling in (if your work is good enough). I think the right starting point for this to work would be a convincing presentation aimed at currently successful artists (Peter Gabriel springs to mind) as once their weight is behind it and they are lobbying the governments concerned (forget the RIAA, they'll fight it tooth and nail) there is little anyone can do to prevent the *next* logical step in the development of a truly global network.

Yours, Noogin. (Ignore name given at top, it renders emails from this bunch all the funnier to read - imagine 'Dear' before it :))

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MS did not learn from Sony?

Sony tried to have the Australian Govt stop a small electronic ship from the modding Playstations. Didn't work: the report came back saying that the chipping of the 'stations to allow players to copy their own game was perfectly legal, and that stopping this practice in an attempt to curb piracy was abroguing the rights of legitimate users.

Whoopsies.

Sony 0, small shop 1.

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Nice try...

I suspect along the lines of XBox Live will pop up to cater for modified systems some time fairly soon. Like how a tool was created to allow people to play online before Live launched for the original XBox (was popular in Australia since Live didn't launch for like a year or something).

Personally, I'll stick to a real computer and sane publishers.

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Backups - yeah right...

The reason MS locks the XBOX, is the same that Nintendo locks the Wii, etc., Sega locked most of it's old machines. It is because they are subsidised, it costs far more than the shelf price to make them, at least for the first couple of years, this cost is recouped by the licence fees paid by the game manufacturers. It's like buying a cheap inkjet printer - do you really think they actually cost £30 to make, no, you make money for the manufacturer by buying their ink carts.

You should not have the right to 'back up' games, although I believe that you should be able to get a replacement of the media if you have paid for it in this model. Does anybody really buy the 'back up' claim?

Also how many people that are shouting about having a non-modded box are just spouting hot air? You've got no idea, I'd be supprised if all of them were guilty but I can't imagine that they're all innocent?

To sum up - if you want to have a few hundred quids worth of computing power that you can install your own software on, but something like err... A computer, not a games console. You can chip these to your heart's content - they're actually designed for it.

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Anonymous Coward

Not going to Work

Microsoft have a problem.

They have banned people with modded consoles but it is the console that was banned not the people. all people will do is wait for the next firmware flash or mod chip then buy a new console at less than £200.

Some people may think thats a lot but when you consider there are around 100 games at £40 each (in supermarkets) that would have cost them £4000 pounds they will buy a new console and mod it.

I happen to have two consoles one for upstairs and one downstairs overall the cost of two machines is not much more than the PS3 so i find it hard to believe that people who have modded their console would not do this.

Of course Microsoft cannot ban the users any more effectivley, all people need to do is sign up with a new account. some people may be peed off that they lose thier gamer score but to be honest what does that really matter apart from bragging rights with your mates.

Also if they are taking a Zero Tolerance view on modding consoles then surely they should apply that to PC's? ok the hardware isnt Microsofts but the Software is and there are many many programs and applications that are produced by people in their own home that modify the software is some way whether its a new skin etc. of course they would not be able to survive the backlash of this but lets not forget that it is supposed to be Zero Tolerance.

Oh and incidentally Microsoft tend to employ the people it finds have broken their systems and the reason behind this..... They are smarter than the people who already work for Microsoft! if these people did their jobs properly then there would not be any way to mod their products AND they would work properly in the first place. Most mods come from people trying to make their products work like they are supposed to, you know like Vista should be able to delete, copy and move without their system crashing.

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Re: "Why buy one then?"

Unfortunately, that's not true. It is illegal to modify a microsoft or sony console - lik-sang got stung for this. A few years ago (2002 I think?!) a London High Court ruled that you cannot modify a console to circumvent any kind of copy protection / other protection that Sony / MS put's in place, so I'm assuming it'd cover this too. That's How Lik-Sang nearly went down (before they did actually go down) as they were selling Sony & MS mods, which led to the big two to take the case to court, producing said verdict.

That said, it still sucks! :-P

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Consoles Online = Corporate Control (Abuse)

It was only a matter of time before M$ got pissy about mods.

Sony did it in the past and Nintendo as well.

Right now though you can hack a Wii and use ROMs to make your own Virtual Console and since Nintendo's network is worthless for multiplayer you would be missing nothing if they made such a move.

My Wii isn't even connected to the network because I have no use for cryptic friend's codes for every damn game or overpriced ROMs.

XBLive is a great environment and truly the best of all the consoles as far as community, content, GUI, etc. You can play 360 without it but the experience is so drab that M$ is hoping they force you to be legit by denying access.

I think they are being smart as dev costs for games are higher than they've ever been (8 figures at times) and the ratio of people using mods for "true backup" versus stealing from torrents or friends copies is probably evidence the mods are for pirates not the "scratch conscious" frugal worry warts who want a backup for little Johnie.

Sony's current online is total crap and time will only tell is Home is an improvement OR a nightmare in poorly executed virtual reality style GUI marketing hype. If Sony can use online connectivity to prevent mods, they will.

I wouldn't be surprised if all three (M, S & N) block mods altogether and if all future generation of consoles will face this bleak reality.

And remember...

If they can exploit and abuse this newfound power

in the console arena -- they most certainly will.

Be honest folks, we like to "mod" so we can get stuff

free or save money on upgrades here and there.

No corporation likes that one bit or byte.

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