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11/12/2009 05:11 PM ID: 81682 Permalink   

XBox Ban Means Buying A New Console, But Are The Hackers Ready To Counter It?

 

Microsoft recently banned thousands more 'modified' XBox consoles. It's estimated around a million units are now banned. Microsoft defended their stance on piracy and modified consoles by saying there is "no recourse for terms of use violations".

Anyone with a modified console needs a new one to connect to the Live service. Modifying a console can include adding new chips to it or using software hacks. Microsoft isn't commenting on how their detection works.

Rumour has it that there will soon be a new mod to get around the newest MS roadblock. Some users defend using modified consoles by saying discs are too fragile and you should be allowed a backup. All Live accounts will still be fine to use.

 
  Source: news.bbc.co.uk  
    WebReporter: AccessG Show Calling Card      
  Recommendation:  
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
   
  50 Comments
  
  Not much of a secret  
 
It is well known that if a backup is bad and/or improperly patched that it will save the info to the 360 for future reference. But the ban waves of recent are from dumb people going online to play games weeks before they are officially released.

As for the workaround it would have to be a serial number (and possibly other keys) spoof. I´m not sure that that will be achievable without special low-level hardware...
 
  by: treyjazz   11/12/2009 06:23 PM     
  Is this even allowed?  
 
Its like they are remotely destroying a product you already bought. What gives them the right to do it? I dont have a XBOX360 but if they did this to me i would never buy anything from them again.
 
  by: evilrat   11/12/2009 06:30 PM     
  lol @ discs are too fragile  
 
Uh, I don´t seem to have a problem caring for mine. They don´t scratch inside the unit and when they´re not being used they´re in the slime-green xbox case they BELONG in.

As much as I hate to say it, I´m with Microsoft on this one. I would enjoy free games but how do you expect to get NEW games if the companies aren´t making any money off consumers? No one wants to create things for free--at least nothing nearly as well put together or advanced as the current crop of games.
 
  by: vex   11/12/2009 06:34 PM     
  @evilrat  
 
Allowed? Nothing is being destroyed. Their accounts have been banned from Live. I presume they can still play the pirated games offline, however I´d even go as so far to say that Microsoft should ruin that ability as well.

Piracy/copyright infringement is illegal. It´s not your right to screw people out of money and if they catch you--good for them!

A game is only 60 bucks new (plus tax). If you cant afford that then perhaps you shouldn´t be playing games to begin with.
 
  by: vex   11/12/2009 06:36 PM     
  @vex  
 
Even if well handled DVDs have only a certain life-span. They don´t work forever.
 
  by: evilrat   11/12/2009 06:37 PM     
  ok  
 
Everything has an lifespan. Cars, food, ect... Should we back-up those as well?
 
  by: thedevilsmachine   11/12/2009 06:39 PM     
  @evilrat  
 
You´re XBOX 360 won´t work forever either. Should you be allowed to back that up too?
 
  by: barryman9001   11/12/2009 06:40 PM     
  @evilrat  
 
Nothing lasts forever Evilrat. Are you going to go back to the Mall to complain your jeans didn´t last 10 years? No.
 
  by: vex   11/12/2009 06:47 PM     
  With MS on this.  
 
You mod your xbox and get caught, tough luck. Shouldn´t have done it in the first place and there´s no excuse. Things not lasting forever is a rubbish excuse. Matter of fact, in the history of entertainment mediums, not one thing I have has ever come to its ´natural end´. I´ve got VHS´ that still work fine, Mega Drive cartridges with no problems, PSone cd´s that are fully functional. These things outlive the system they´re designed for.
 
  by: agnaram   11/12/2009 06:54 PM     
  I wouldn´t be surprised it  
 
Microsoft just goes out and sends out a unit to be modded and then studies the chip/reverse engineers it so they can ban it.

I am surprised they don´t do this in faster intervals. I used to be a huge PC Gamer and had to resort to Xbox because of all the idiots using Aimbot and hacking games to ruin them. PC is far superior to Xbox and its Graphics but I enjoy the games more or less being "closed source" as opposed to open source.
 
  by: vex   11/12/2009 06:57 PM     
  Wow,  
 
Xbox pulled out all the stops here. Can´t say that I disagree with this decision though, I´d want my money too.

Anybody having problems with Modern warfare on PS3? I´m having a problem inviting friends to join into a game.
 
  by: C.O.G.   11/12/2009 07:16 PM     
  @C.O.G.  
 
This is a bug, they want to patch it.
 
  by: evilrat   11/12/2009 07:22 PM     
  Well ...  
 
@treyjazz: They can actually tell the voltages and fan speeds going through the machine. Some people have been banned in the past for a simple fan mod, that is making it go faster by putting it on the 12v rail instead of the 5v.

@vex: The Live accounts are fine, they can still be used. Its just the machine itself banned from the network.

Im annoyed that I cant get MW2 atm for £26/$40 because the chain selling it is sold out :(
 
  by: AccessG     11/12/2009 07:27 PM     
  Okay,  
 
Thanks. I saw a temporary solution that works, I´ve tried it. Invite the friend, have them log out of PSN, log back in and accept. It doesn´t seem to work with online multiplayer, but it works with Special Ops.

On a side note, I noticed somebody online who was at a level 44 on THE FIRST DAY!!! Seriously, I´m sure there are other areas of life that needed attention.
 
  by: C.O.G.   11/12/2009 07:33 PM     
  Under  
 
The DCMA you may have bought it but you still don´t own the device. Nintendo has been legally bricking moded units via remote for well over a year now.

It´s only a matter of time for MS to start bricking theirs as well.


 
  by: Synister1   11/12/2009 07:50 PM     
  @COG  
 
"Seriously, I´m sure there are other areas of life that needed attention."

I used to think so too until I bought MW2. I´m pretty sure that game is the meaning of life.
 
  by: erasedgod   11/12/2009 08:03 PM     
  Screw XBOX, screw Microsoft.  
 
Its a piece of crap console anyways. How many XBOX´s have gotten the red light of death? Wayyyy too many. Who wants to play an FPS without a mouse anyways? You got to aim and pray. I think I´ll keep sticking with PC, where I still have a choice with what I do with my hardware, and they can cram their terms of use where the sun don´t shine.
 
  by: DoubleTake   11/12/2009 08:41 PM     
  @DoubleTake  
 
You can hardly blame your accuracy issues on the controller. While they certainly have their issues (limited buttons) accuracy isn´t one of them if you know what you´re doing.

Smooches,
PC and console gamer
 
  by: erasedgod   11/12/2009 09:02 PM     
  Microsoft is really only hurting themselves  
 
Microsoft is really only hurting themselves here.

People who are going to pirate are going to pirate no matter what they do. There not going to spend money on games.

However EVERYONE I know with a modified Xbox 360 pays for Xbox Live and they pay for the downloadable content.

Now that they have been banned from Live, Microsoft looses that money. I mean think about it, this only affects people who use Live.

Also, Microsoft has done more then just ban users from Live. They have also disabled the consoles ability to install games to the hard drive. Why are they doing this? With the hops that if people have to play games off the dvd rom, it will wear out quicker thus thinning out the supply for hackable DVD Rom drives.

That said, my 360 got banned. I sold my modified Xbox 360 for $250.00 dollars, bought two more sued virgin consoles, modified one to play offline, did the 250gb hard drive hack so I can install games, that one will STAY off live so as to not get banned, the other one I will keep unmodified in the closet for now as a spare.

Here is an interesting little rumor/post:

Quote:
"I will post in here and hope my identity is not compromised as I will get into severe trouble.

This is what i do. I am an Xbox Live checks manager and I am the guy who helps run through the data being sent to Xbox Live that has been flagged for banning and was also discussed a very long time ago of what will "bring down all modified Xboxs"

I myself have an Cbox that has been modified because i think it is a crime what they do charging so much when the games don´t even cost Microsoft half of what they are getting. Anyway, we have found a way to read the firmware. The NXE update has allowed us to do a check on the current firmware installed on the dvd drive.

The reason this was not flagged was because the code was not active. As you might have heard it was discussed about a "self destruct" code embedded in the NXE update and even before that. This was that code it wasn´t a self destruct code but actually a check that was done on all drives.

This check was begun when the update was to "prepare for the last.fm facebook and twitter" this in fact was the code sent out to begin checks on ALL Xboxs.

These checks would send us information on the firmware written to the drive not the exact kind but we did an extensive form of hash check on the drive and could actually find out if it was modified in any way.

This was particularly easy on the lite-on as it was actually manufactured to serve for this purpose as our testing model.

We will not ban all consoles at once and yes all information about you has been collected a long time ago.

We have THOUSANDS of Xboxs reporting bad checks meaning modified firmware. Not all people will be banned and all the bans are done at random times

Multiple checks have been done over this amount of time so we could assure the modified Xboxs were truly modified and not just returning corrupt data.

I am sorry i did not com forward with this information sooner but this information has been critical to the cat and mouse game

This check was also done back in the xtreme days if anyone remembers that when c4eva had to rewrite it to allow the checks to come back clean well this must be done again.

Sorry all for the bannings but it is a natural process and I wish you all luck and hope you do not get banned

If you do await the new firmware that is begin developed and cheers to you all you wanted to know it now you got it.
 
  by: kristmen   11/12/2009 09:26 PM     
  @Synister1  
 
I assume it is the Wii you are referring to. AFAIK Nintendo has never intentionally bricked a Wii -- modded (soft or hard) or unmodded. Most of the bricking happens by users that don´t know what they are doing in order to recover homebrew capability after an upgrade of the system menu -- especially with 4.2 where a majority of the CIOSes were replaced with dummies (stubs). Also there have been many instances of system menu upgrades going wrong and bricking unmodded Wiis so in the chance that it happens to a modded Wii it could very well be the same bad luck.
 
  by: treyjazz   11/12/2009 09:30 PM     
  @erasedgod  
 
Having the X and Y axis separated between 2 thumbsticks is much more prone to mistakes than a mouse if you ask me. You don´t see people using photoshop with 2 thumbsticks, do you? And in most games or mouse software, you can adjust the sensitivity of the mouse. That´s been rare in my experience for xbox games. I´m a very casual gamer and have actually not played some games because I didn´t want to "get used" to the controls. Mouse wins my my opinion.

Why doesn´t xbox have a mouse and keyboard? SNES had a mouse.
 
  by: PeddlerOfFlesh   11/12/2009 09:44 PM     
  @aboves  
 
Okay, I´m going to let you guys in on a little secret when it comes to EULAs saying that you have bought the ´right to use the equipment´ and not the equipment itself.


Those are total BS and do not stand up in court -- if you bought a console, you own the physical unit. Companies have been trying and failing to justify themselves with ´you bought the right to use our product, not the right to own the product´ for years and it has never flown.
 
  by: velger   11/12/2009 10:00 PM     
  kristmen, seriously?  
 
All theyre going to do is hurt themselves ... which is why you bought 2 more consoles so you can have one legit one to pay for live?

And again ... NONE OF THE ACCOUNTS ARE BANNED, ITS THE MACHINES.

PS: Your ´quote´ has as many spelling errors as your comment.
 
  by: AccessG     11/12/2009 10:00 PM     
  AccessG  
 
People get banned from live all the time. However, it´s because they hack, and not neccessarily because they have modded chips. Although chip are often used to hack. I would say more people have chips to hack than they do to actually backup games or have software copies of their games.
 
  by: m.i.a.elite     11/12/2009 10:09 PM     
  @vex  
 
My jeans are lasting 10 years ... am I doing it wrong?
 
  by: Ben_Reilly     11/12/2009 10:16 PM     
  @PeddlerOfFlesh  
 
I play FPS games on both PC and Console. I don´t really have a preference between the controls except for the button advantage of the keyboard.

I haven´t played a console game since before Xbox came out that you couldn´t adjust the stick sensitivity.

Also, I think I read somewhere that you can use mouse and keyboard with the Xbox 360. I´m not sure if that´s the case.
 
  by: erasedgod   11/12/2009 10:16 PM     
  Um  
 
My Live Gold ran out last week, I did not renew it. I do not intend to renew it.

Also I bought two USED consoles. Not to mention M$ makes no money off there consoles, it´s all made on software sales AND Xbox Live and the Xbox Live downloadable content, so yes, they are screwing themselves out of millions. All the pirates and hackers will just wait for the next exploit.

And the guy who bought my Xbox 360? He has NO IDEA you could modify them to play burned games. Now he does. I took his Xbox 360 plus $250 in trade and use $85.00 dollars of the $250.00 to buy a second used one. I came out way ahead on that deal.

Oh and excuse me if American engrish is not my first or main language, we can not all be so special as AccessG there. =)

Oh and the quote, I guess you missed the fact he said cheers repeatedly, he wasn´t American either. Not everyone is.

And to m.i.a.elite

They are NOT using modchips for Xbox 360´s, it´s strictly a firmware flash to the DVD Rom´s, no modchips. M$ has apparently found a way to detect the modified firmware in the DVD drives, or so the theory goes.
 
  by: kristmen   11/12/2009 10:28 PM     
  My point being ...  
 
none of the accounts linked to hacked machines have been banned. I know accounts get banned or suspended for various reasons a lot of the time. Reasons like offensive names, offensive messages and being ´lagtastic´.

kristmen, wheres the source of your ´CBox´ quote? I wouldnt expect someone who regularly uses the term XBox to say ´an cbox´. Its not you Im questioning, its the quote. As for my engrish, I have a lack of hyphens, always :)

BTW, saying its ´hacked´ instead of ´cracked´ is a pet hate of mine.
 
  by: AccessG     11/12/2009 10:53 PM     
  lol  
 
So funny how much cash you have to fork over just to play a game from microsoft. I don´t like the 360 because even though you can make games for it you have to fork over half of what ppl will pay for your game. You have to pay to play online. So you pay twice, for the service of the net, & for the service of the net again on a stupid console which is limited. It is limited because you can only play so much on it & the company hates you to mod it. Its a freaking computer minus the openness. This is why PS3 pwns when it comes to net content. They are not as greedy as microsoft, yet it costs waaaaaaaaaaaaay more to be able to create a game for their system.

We paid for our product. Allow us to do what ever we want to them. Just do what they used to do, if its modded you can´t get any help from them if something happens. Hell if they were good then they would help no matter what.

Microsoft has its ups n downs, I´m just glade they are not like EA.
 
  by: vhan     11/12/2009 11:11 PM     
  @vhan  
 
There´s a reason you have to pay for live - because it´s a decent service. It´s pretty much agreed that the Live service outshines the PS3 service on all fronts (except cost ;). £3 a month (or less) is not a bad price to pay to have integrated services, decent servers and friend system. MW2 is a great example. xbox users enjoying the online service, whilst PS3 are waiting for a patch. It´s a case of ´you get what you pay for´. Of course, I´d prefer to it to be free, but I think it´s worth the money, personally.
 
  by: agnaram   11/13/2009 12:44 AM     
  @erasedgod  
 
Your crazy or illinformed if you think a controller is as accturate as a keyboard & mouse.

There is a reason why online console FPS games can´t join servers for PC FPS games....because they would get slaughtered.

a controller has it´s advantages for certain games such as RPG´s and platformers
a mouse and keyboard has it´s own advantages for precision and speed which help for games such as FPS and RTS.

to deny this simply means you don´t know how to play FPS properly with keyboard and mouse.
 
  by: pexa02   11/13/2009 12:45 AM     
  Uh  
 
I´m not really a console gamer, but I´m guessing that if you went online you probably agreed to that little thing called a EULA, or something like it. If its anything like PC online stuff, no one reads it, but I´m sure theres a line somewhere in there that says "DON´T MOD YOUR STUFF ITS ILLEGAL!"
 
  by: Stiks   11/13/2009 02:49 AM     
  Microsoft is hurting certain customers  
 
seriously while pirating is wrong just nam the account don´t disable the system. Kristmen gave the perfect example.


His systems got locked and won´t work no more so he sold them to a buyer who has no clue about that and won´t be able to use the system. Those people are getting screwed for not knowing what the previous user did. That will alienate those people from Microsoft. Ban the account not the console
 
  by: willyshawker     11/13/2009 03:01 AM     
  @agnaram  
 
I have often heard that argument and tried out both the XBL and PSN Services, but i dont know whats so different on them. On both systems i can play with friends, invite friends, have voicechat etc and i have never had an issue with the servers... I think that argument may have been true in the early days of PS3 but Sony has played a lot of catch-up and now the services are very very similar. Whats so much better about XBL to justify the cost?
 
  by: evilrat   11/13/2009 03:02 AM     
  @evilrat and willyshawker  
 
@evilrat: I admit it´s been some time since I last played PS3 online, but XBL provides more services for me. Facebook, twitter and Last.FM integration is on the horizon, I can now watch SKY TV in my room without additional subscription, less laggy games (from my experience, so Sony may have fixed that since I played) as well as it being difficult to communicate with my friends on the ps3 (although that might´ve been updated as well tbf). Outside of that, it´s just that most of my friends are xbox owners, and £3 a month to play with them online is something I´d consider a worthwhile cost.

@willyshawker: The machines work fine, you just can´t connect to the Live service.
 
  by: agnaram   11/13/2009 03:32 AM     
  @agnaram  
 
Because "live" service for most xbox owners is roughly 50% of the buying incentive. I would say that losing that functionality on any xbox would make it extremely unfavorable. Thus ruining the re-sell value of the unit.
 
  by: m.i.a.elite     11/13/2009 03:49 AM     
  @agnaram  
 
Hm ok i see. I think the PS3 can not quite match that but comes close. It really does come down to on which system the friends play, i see it the same way. But my friends got playstations. We never had lag issues but in recent times but in the early days there were some. But at that time there were not many games out for the system so i rarely played online. Now everything runs smooth. The PS3 gets Facebook with the next update, dont know about twitter but that can be used trough the browser anyway. I get 30 free TV Channels here trough the PlayTV Service and with recording and timeshift feaute and there is a free BBC Player on the System. There is also a free interactive Musicvideo channel called "VidZone", its like interactive MTV, quite cool and there is Playstation Home, a virtual 3D community, many hate it but i like it and often spend some time there. And there is also "Live with Playstation" which lets one read news story´s from around the world. So bonus features are more then enough at the PSN. But if all my friends had XBOX i would also play on it. I got turned off by the noise the system makes and the RROD Storys and also the XBL Price and the overpriced accessories, thats why i got a PS3. Maybe with next XBOX i go with MS again. I still have the XBOX 1.
 
  by: evilrat   11/13/2009 04:16 AM     
  A lot of arguments on this, but I´ll put up mine  
 
I have a 360. I get the new releases at £25-£30. It cost me £22.50 for 14 months Live sub. If you shop about you can get those prices either on release or within 2 weeks of it. I know quite a few people with 360s as well as PS3´s. Ive had some problems with XBL in the past but what doesnt go through bad spells? Apart from Halo3 its for playing driving/football games and games like GTA. Stuff I can fire up and have a laugh at.

I have a PC. quad core, 8 gig of RAM, terabyte of space, 1 gig gfx card. Its for doing photos, video and gaming. Games like eve online where I burn through about the equivalent of £40 a month in ISK. Entropia where my account is worth a few thousand GBP. Its my more serious side of tech.

When it comes down to it, what DO I buy Modern Warfare 2 for? Im not sure, Im going for the 360 version ATM, but I do like the mouse n keyboard. But a control pad is analogue and you can adjust the sensitivity. Really, when you boil it down, its the fkin Matrix, its all about choice.

So, seeings I have the computer I described above, a 360, a Wii, a server http://ubuntuforums.org/... my tut I still have to finish, a dual core hdmi media machine that can game, an old machine for working with old apps and I´ll probably be getting a PS3 seeings how I really dont do anything else and it was my bday last month and I still havent picked a pressie from my wife, plus the stone cold fact I had 10 years in the gaming industry and have owned every console since the SNES/Master System days except the Atari Jaguar ... how just HOW can anyone say one is better than the other when I cant?

A PC you can buy a pad for, a console you can adjust the controls.

The ONLY single thing I would say a console sucks at is strategy games. Well, its almost 3:40am so maybe I missed something else too, yep, thats an excuse.
 
  by: AccessG     11/13/2009 04:39 AM     
  @evilrat and m.i.a.elite  
 
@evilrat: I really should give the PS3 another chance. It sounds like it´s come some way since I last played it. Plus, a price drop, Uncharted 2 and Heavy Rain makes it very tempting. I remember playing, and loving, the first Uncharted.

@m.i.a.elite: Sorry, I can´t find what post you were replying to.
 
  by: agnaram   11/13/2009 04:49 AM     
  @Eula´s  
 
"DON´T MOD YOUR STUFF ITS ILLEGAL!"

I could be wrong, but Microsoft, nor any other software company, writes any laws that are legally binding. They can scream bloody murder til their faces are purple, but its not against the law to break a eula. I believe they are not the same as contracts either which can be taken into courts. So long as you are not breaking copy-write laws you should be able to do whatever you want with it.

However, they don´t have to uphold anything on their end as far as services if you do break a eula.
 
  by: brianwcu     11/13/2009 05:38 AM     
  @vex  
 
"A game is only 60 bucks new (plus tax). If you cant afford that then perhaps you shouldn´t be playing games to begin with."

Do you also think that if people aren´t rich enough that they shouldn´t be allowed to vote?
 
  by: jamesmc   11/13/2009 09:33 AM     
  @jamesmc  
 
That´s a bit of a moot point isn´t it? What has voting got to do with gaming? Gaming is not a necessity in life, it´s a luxury. By your logic, if I can´t afford a 60 inch HDTV, I should go rob an electrical store because it´s within my rights.
I´m with vex on this. If you can´t afford the game, then tough luck.
 
  by: agnaram   11/13/2009 01:08 PM     
  All of this...  
 
is just TOO FUNNY. I swear I laughed so hard last night while reading comments on the report that Microsoft banned a million consoles from Live because thieves were playing MW2 a week before the release date.

"zOMG HOW DARE THEY BAN US FOR STEALING!!! GRRAAAAAAAA NEEERRRRDDD RAAAAAAGGGGEEEEE!!!". One of my friends is a professional system modder out in California, he tells me all the time about idiots who bring their banned consoles in for "repairs". How often can you tell people NOT to go on Live without pre-patching, and NOT to play games that haven´t been released yet before it sinks in?

Fortunately PC gamers like myself don´t have to deal with 99% of the crap consolers do. Hopefully this little lesson will show some of the Xbots and POS3ers the error of their ways, but not too many, their bitter tears are just too delicious XD
 
  by: YuSaKu     11/13/2009 01:44 PM     
  You´re right  
 
Its not against the law to break the EULA. My point was that if you break the EULA Microsoft has the right to break your service. Its an agreement between you and the company not you and the law.
 
  by: Stiks   11/13/2009 08:21 PM     
  Microsofts EULAs are illegal in the European Union  
 
The EU Commission has ruled before that Microsofts Eula´s are illegal. I hope they sue them again for 500$ Million like before. That will teach them!
 
  by: evilrat   11/13/2009 09:31 PM     
  Yep  
 
The EULA may be an unfair document; however, by accepting it you´re agreeing to those terms, so when they shut you down for breaking it, its your fault. I´m not really Microsoft, but thats just how it works.
 
  by: Stiks   11/13/2009 11:39 PM     
  @agnaram  
 
I was replying to your comment that the machines were fine after being banned. But "fine" is a very subjective word..

"willyshawker: The machines work fine, you just can´t connect to the Live service. "
 
  by: m.i.a.elite     11/13/2009 11:47 PM     
  ..  
 
Keeping your games in the standard cases offers little to no protection at all. The cases are probably the shittiest I´ve ever seen, and there´s no protection on the opposite end where the disc is, just a series of holes in a circle formation.

If I did own an XBox, first thing I´d do with any game is immediately junk the cases the games come in and use a standard Amaray DVD case.

Second, if you´re banned by Live, whats´ the big deal? There´s nothing on there anyways but ripoff downloadable content. As long as you keep your console offline, you should be fine.

Third, why would anyone want that piece of shit XBox anyways? The fact that it rips up your discs and M$ refuses to do anything about it should be reason enough to stay away.

tl;dr.. Get a PS2 and a boot disc to play back-ups.
 
  by: jakethemuss   11/14/2009 05:32 AM     
  ...  
 
I can´t see why anyone actually buying a console would be surprised at this. If you want control, buy a pc. This way, you can avoid things like this. Also you gain choice in supporting companies that do not promote DRM (longbow, stardock, etc).
 
  by: darkfalcon001   11/14/2009 02:27 PM     
  @m.i.a.elite  
 
Ah, yes sorry. You´re right that Live has a huge influence on people´s decision to buy an Xbox. I was just pointing out that it wasn´t the entire machine be rendered unusable. Being pedantic, more than anything :)
 
  by: agnaram   11/15/2009 01:33 AM     
 
 
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