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March 21, 2013

High Level Employee Xbox Live Accounts HACKED

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Microsoft have today confirmed that a group of hackers have accessed Xbox live accounts, not just any old account but the accounts of several of its past and present “high-profile” employees. Now I know it shouldn’t matter which account it is that’s being hacked but the fact that they where able to target specific accounts is something to think about.

A few days ago I was asked by my Xbox to log into my account using my username and password a there seemed to be an issue with my account. Now, this has never happened before as I am usually logged in automatically. I created my xbox live account around 10 years ago, yes I should have written down my log in details but I was just too excited and wanted to get online and kick some ass on Halo. So my only choice was to call Xbox Live Customer Services, which may as well have been called Fort Knox as I went through around 10 – 15 security questions and still failed security confirmation. What was a lad to do? I sat with a pad and pen and wrote down every password I could remember using over the past 10 years in work and at home (don’t worry I shredded the paper afterwards lol) and tried them all till I found the correct one. So when I heard that someone had hacked these Xbox Live accounts I though to myself “damn they could have got mine while they were in there instead of me spending 3 million hours on the phone and trying old passwords on sign-in till I got in”. Obviously we don’t condone hacking, but large companies should use hackers to test their security, idle hands etc.

Anyway I digress, back to my original point. Ars Technica were the first to report the attack, which itself had been the victim of a DoS attack this last weekend, potentially linked to the same group. There has been evidence pointing to hacking collective Team Hype’s alleged involvement, this surfaced when videos depicting its efforts were found online. The footage demonstrated the group’s reported use of illegally obtained Social Security data to gain access to and sell off Xbox Live user accounts. Microsoft denies the SSNs were obtained from their connected Xbox Live account, instead pointing blame at a third party for the leaked SSNs.

According to Microsoft’s recently issued statement, the company are working with authorities to “disable this current method” and cut off the possibility of future attacks. For now, it appears this security compromise is not related to a UK incident in which Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Award voting app temporarily exposed user data.

At this time no one knows who exactly carried out these attacks on the high profile Xbox Live accounts, although ultimately we’re sure you’re glad you probably don’t consider yourself a high profile person; But if you are, well, we think you might want to keep an eye on your Xbox Live account for a wee while.

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Source – CVG & Slashgear

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Jonny Polea

Editor in Chief at Beginners Tech

I joined Beginners Tech as a Technical Journalist in July 2012 and have never looked back. I love tech, gadgets, games and electronics; whether they are retro, current or future concepts. My loving fiancé Sarah has said that when I receive new items for review I’m like a kid in a toy shop – unable to leave it alone for two minutes! Coming from a design background, I am passionate about the design and aesthetics of tech as well as functionality.