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Appeared on: Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Another XBox 360 Firmware Hack Made Public

A group of hackers claim that they have found a way to bypass Microsoft security and run backed-up games on an XBox 360.

According to the group, any owner of an X360 with a Toshiba-Samsung drive is able to rewrite the firmware so that they can play copied games.

The hack, released by a group calling themselves Xtreme, is rather complicated to install and involves opening your XBox 360, reconnecting your drive to a PC, extracting information from your drive, re-writing the hacked firmware to include your drive's information and re-writing your firmware. The process is complicated and most XBox 360 owners are unlikely to risk the well-being of their console in order to test this attempt. Owners of an XBox 360 with a DVD drive made by LG cannot apply this hack.

Microsoft has already stated that it is looking at ways to fight this particular attempt to breach its console's security but although the company is able to rewrite DVD firmware, via an update, it is unlikely it will try to do so. Failed attempts will render consoles useless and may open an entirely new can of worms. It is not certain if Microsoft will be able to spot copied games trying to run on XBox Live but it is fairly safe to assume that engineers are working hard to find ways to detect copies and blacklist their users.

Most insiders to the hacking scene claim that this is not a proper hack since it doesn't allow unsigned code to run on the console. This means that installing this software will not allow owners of MS's console to run any homebrew applications or games. Defenders of the hack however, claim that this marks a big step in the right direction for fully bypassing Microsoft's security.


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