Hackers find first Xbox 360 cracks

Coder group claims to have extracted source files from games, encourages others to find ways to play the copies.

120 Comments

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Only weeks after the introduction of the Xbox 360, hackers appear to have cracked their way into the software that runs the Microsoft game console. A group called "Team PI Coder" claims to have found a way to extract the source files of Xbox 360 games as they get loaded onto the console. The glimpse at game code represents the first move toward hacking the Microsoft device, said Steve Manzuik, a security product manager at eEye Digital Security.

"All that has been done is that they have figured out the file system, which is not much different than the original Xbox file system," Manzuik said. "I would consider it a game hack, not really an Xbox 360 hack. But (it is) the beginning steps of one."

Team PI Coder has posted details on several games to the Web along with an "extractor tool" that could potentially be used to copy games, according to Xbox-Scene.com.

"Downloading such releases is illegal, and you can't do anything with them yet," Xbox-Scene.com said in a posting.

The copies are useless, at least for now, because further Xbox safeguards prevent playing of the copies, and the games also won't run on a PC. In a text file describing the extracted data for Sega's Condemned: Criminal Origins, Team PI Coder said that not much can be done with the files.

"You can't run these dumps yet, but you will be able to sooner or later," it wrote in the note. "So the first task is done. We hope this encourages all hackers, coders and crackers out there to take up the challenge."

Microsoft wouldn't comment on the hacking work by Team PI Coder, but a company representative said the recently launched Xbox 360 is well protected. "We have made improvements on both the hardware and software side to protect Xbox 360 against piracy and modding (modification of components)," the company said in a statement on Friday.

"With Xbox 360, we had the benefit of learning from our experiences on Xbox. This allowed us to identify points of weakness that were exploited by hackers in the first generation and to eliminate those vulnerabilities in Xbox 360," the Microsoft representative said.

The first-generation Xbox was a popular hacker target. Add-on chips for the console--so-called "mod chips"--let consumers play pirated discs and other applications on their consoles.

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petrnorth18

i hope this kind of stuff doesn't eventually make prices go up even more. o how i want a 360!

Avatar image for Sydwynder
Sydwynder

Wow, put down your comic books and SUPER COMPUTERS and GET A FREAKIN LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for trj156
trj156

I say go ahead and let the hackers have fun, as long as they dont mess with xbox live. there is not a very big market in the US for pirated console games, and because of the complications involved in making or getting a copy, i dont think it will ever get to the point of mp3 sharing, on kazaa or other similar programs. I was actually thinking about getting a PSP for all the homebrew games and programs that were available, like old NES games or Doom. But, the firmware has been updated and does not allow for those things, so sony lost a sale right there. Anyway, back to xbox, my friend has a modded original xbox with the entire NES and Super NES collection on it, and its one of the greatest things i have ever seen.

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WallaceUGBeaver

Why are they telling us this? Wouldn't it be better if the hackers didn't know?

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darkside5001

All the people complaining here, im sure you've watched a pirated DVD once or twice at you friends house, everyone has a friend with burnt DVD's/Music/games.

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networkpunk

wow this good but then again if all this piracy continues prices are just gonna overflow,imagine a ps3 game or some sorte for other console costs 100 bux,too much man,this needs to stop cuz eventually everythings just gonna crash leading to bankruptcy for all the game companies since everyones obviously going to rely on mod chips and such, either theses companies compleltely out smart all the hackers,coders, or those wise-guys stop pirating everything

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lilweightlifter

I would much rather buy a game than get one from a mod. There's no telling if it will work right or not.

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GranTurismo_559

I can not say I did not see this coming.........It was a matter of time.

Avatar image for GastaS
GastaS

Well most of you here already played pirate games! I live in Africa (Angola) and I love games since Atari. I cant live without games, this is good news for me coz I have to import all my games from europe (Portugal) and I pay like $120 for each game and I have to wait like 2 months to get them. I have played many pirace games before and I will play more, I also buy original games of course, games like Halo2, GTA, Half Life2, Doom3, Call of Dutty and etc, but those games that suck I download from my service on internet. Prices are not fair enough those companies are getting too much money...

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soul_motor

Shouldn't news.com be mod'd as it's against the forum rules to discuss hacks, roms, etc...?

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SLAYERPSP

this is how it started with the psp first the iso then the loaders it will be hacked all systems are no big surprise 60 dollar games suck so more power too them

Avatar image for Myugenjin
Myugenjin

Realistically speaking piracy doesn't really hurt devs or the hardware makers. Over the last 5 years as modchips have become more available so has the annual increase in the sell of videogames. I believe in 98 the videogameing industry was at 7 billion while in 2004 it had climed to 26 and now near 32. The only reason game sells have somewhat declined as of late is because many of you (me included) are saving for other stuff or for the new next gen console cycle. Plus devs like EA have bought out the small guy's (like RARE) which had time to develop quality unique games that where enjoyable but are now dull. This is the problem with industry, none of these devs are admitting that their games are bad and thouroughly rushed to meet quarterly expectations of investors. Instead they blame it on little hacker groups. For the most part way to much of a devs production cost (which gets passed onto the consumer) are tied into commercials, voice acting, and visuals. Primarily MS, instead these dev's should be letting their games sell by word of mouth through gamer community's such as this site and by enjoyable long lasting gameplay. This arrogance is what's the problem, time after time studies have shown that even though a small percentage will resort to piracy the majority of consumers will still pay full price no matter what so if a dev folds or 360 does like Dreamcast then it's entirely the company's fault! Look at the movie industry for like the last 3 years and all the piracy thats there. I'd be more willing to D/L a film i thought was mediocore then one I thought was really great like KKong, Narnia, or Saw 2. These movies made alot at the box office and will reflect thaty in their dvd sells just the same as it is with games.

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JamezTown

Well said mobber... well said.

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Rato51

I live in brazil, where 1% of the gamers use original copies and the rest goes with the fake ones, so yes, im happy with this news. Im not saying that this is a good thing, but the prices for games and consoles here are outrageous so only a rich bunch can afford that. I still have hopes that one day this piracy will be over, and MS and Sony can start producing consoles or at least games here, so that the prices drop significantly.My country has one of the highest import taxes and i can only imagine how much 60 dollar games would cost here.

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mezonesxbox

Why didnt Microsoft create a self destruct mechanism for any one who opens an xbox 360. That would be soo cool, BOoM!! Fried Chip..

Avatar image for mobber
mobber

what has MS done for me? wow, alot actually. look, i fully understand any negative resentment they have. they deserve it. those successful buzzards! we as a society would not be near as productive without them. the more integration between products makes the public even more dependent to their supply (360, messenger, windows media connect, etc). they don't produce the best products/services nor do they have the coolest but don't forget the good they have done. oh, and halo. i know, bungie gets credit too. but thanks to MS>xbox>halo, i have been entertained ALOT. way more than the money i invested in it... so yeah, MS has done something. (no one here is using windows or explorer are they? i'm sure the majority of us are using firefox on their linux box, right...) look, hackers are a burden to society much like criminals. think how much money has been spent to counter their actions. lots of security. lots of money. wasted... yeah, for every 1 "good" hacker, there are 10 bad ones. (mankind is inherently bad). and the bad ones f' it up for everyone. all the time and money spent to prevent them speaks for itself. the real tragedy is that anything digital can be "hacked" or manipulated given enough time, effort, & skill. nothing is safe. ever. a bunch of loosers with too much time on their hands, enough skill to be creative/dangerous, and the attitude that they can justify any action like "hacking the man" can be dangerous. they are no robin hood. all i'm sayin: i'd back MS before i would the hackers

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boyblob

Who cares. Allard said he wanted people to mod their Xbox 360. Although I know he ment stuff like faceplates and not actual hacks. It's an interesting topic and I like to know what people can do and find in the system

Avatar image for tbonetrav18
tbonetrav18

what a waste of time

Avatar image for caesarbites
caesarbites

Hackers = LOSERS. If you're a hacker for purposes such as this, then you really are the bottom rung of the parasite ladder.

Avatar image for deactivated-5c32a9c44e321

I hate soccer.

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doomed51

ZOMG old news!...lol

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Aki_Kitsune

Heh I love the thought of these people hacking into the systems. If I knoew how to do it I would be in with them learning each and every little piece.

Avatar image for Zaradis
Zaradis

What?! Too much like a computer? Every console in existance has been hacked in some form. All consoles were nothing like a computer in itself until the xbox came along. Regardless, I really can't see piracy to be too much of an impact this generation. Live has taken over, and with the majority of Xbox owners (i'm assuming) having some form of high speed internet, many firmware and software updates will come by and minimize piracy activity. Perhaps games will be developed to check for a certain firmware or software version of the OS, and if the console does not have it, it will be updated; again minimizing or eliminating piracy for that player. However, piracy will always be around, but again I do not believe this generation will be the same as last.

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EMH88

ROFL! I dont have a Xbox360 but i'm sure that very soon hackers will be able to run these dumbs. I'm SURE! This is the begining. No protection is perfect, there's always a way to hack trough it. I'm happy even if I dont give a f*** of the xbox.

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Odgiek18

Maybe that'll teach Microsoft for making their consoles to much like a computer!

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Sinister904

good job! now figure out how to play copied games

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Cartman86

I guess the people who pirate games don't post here... I'm suprised though that people bother with pirating console games. It just seems like a chore. You can't log into xboxlive once you do something like that. Even good natured stuff like turning your xbox into a media center will get you burned. The PC on the other hand is open game. PSP as well. I play my PSP so much more with the homebrew stuff that people make.

Avatar image for scotty74
scotty74

Why can't people just live with the reality of buying games? It makes the world go around. If you can't afford it, budget your money better or get a non-minimum wage job....geez.

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falco1029

hackers shoudl just kil lthemselves.

Avatar image for Xaioling
Xaioling

It is almost a given though, which system new or old wasn't hacked up at a some point there are plenty of those stupid chips for PS, PS2, Xbox right now as well as flash memory devices for GameBoy, DS and PSP. Microsoft's XBOX 360 is the next target and then will be Sony's PS3.

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RageSet

To all those that believe Start-Ups are dead (or nearly), believe me they're not. My small development group (not yet called a company) is starting very small (web arcade games) and like others we want to REMAIN independent! The indie scene of yesterday is long gone, but in place of it lives many small time start-ups. The one thing I know is right...hackers, coders or any one else in the "dev scene" needs to look at themselves and see what their actions really do to the gaming industry as a whole. I won't disagree or agree whether Microsoft is evil...but they're a corporation and like any "smart" corporation, the bottom line is very important. Last time I checked...pirates cost the gaming industry about 800 to 900 million annually...that kind of money does add up...think about it! FYI: the $10 increase to the new generation game prices isn't from the hardware companies (i.e. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo)...the price increase is from the third-party folks like Electronic Arts.

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necrogodomega

It's always amazing how people will makes copies of games, then turn right around and complain if a games isn't that good. Well if you'd give you money to the Dev so they have money to make better games you wouldn't have that problem.

Avatar image for Dude002
Dude002

This kind of makes technology more advanced when you look at it. Soon M$ will make more advanced security components and may stumble onto a newer piece of technology that we need in society. Maybe a AI that works for robots? Anything's possible.

Avatar image for BrainedMyDamage
BrainedMyDamage

those dumb people. Just play the game the way it's supposed to be played. Nobody cares if you think you're big and tough because you hacked it. You're not. You're a flaming geek.

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AsimLeonheart

srpots "why would someone who can manage to pay $400 for a 360 use pirated games, which happen to be illegal. people with a 360 but need to resort to fake games dont have the money to really have a $400 peice of junk." I agree that XBOX360 is a piece of junk and I didnt buy it and I am never going to. I am glad that if these hackers keep up the good work then I will be able to play PS3 when it arrives. Buying a console isnt that difficult as compared to buying 2 or 3 games each month. Me and my borther saved money for two whole years and my parents contributed some too and then I was able to buy my PS2. It's that expensive over here. But buying games each month which cost more than half of my dad's salary is impossible. Thats why people like me need these pirates......

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Moltdar

i'm pretty sure they are doing so. It's obvious: for legal reasons, they cannot run MacOS on the thing although it is power-PC based, so it would be perfect. Now that is one great use that anyone would love! And who says MacOS says Virtual PC! so Microsoft would be letting the so called "hackers" do the dirty work for them and i'm sure they'd be pretty happy about it! And i'd like to remind everyone here the first XBOX "hackers" acted originally to being able to run Linux on it, and went to Microsoft to tell them they'd like everyone to take advantage of that without being able to play copied games but Microsoft didn't listen so they went public and that's why they could now run copied games easily. The hackers are not the bad guys in fact they benefit the industryvery much in their own way by creating new functions and ideas that are beyond the limits of normal developpers because of legal constraints. Technically, with this new Partition "hack", you'd be able to take a normal SATA drive and format it with this new filesystem and it logically should work in your 360 so i guesss it's a matter of time until we see way bigger drives soon!

Avatar image for Aytbitt
Aytbitt

Copiers suck ass. Modding is fun, but when you rip off companies by copying their games, that's evil.

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481989

Hacked Microsoft products? What else is new?

Avatar image for bossjimbob
bossjimbob

SanojeiSanna, the GameCube is not "near hack-proof." There are hacks available for it. But I think the reason Sony and Microsoft are the targets of more hacks is because the hardware is more versatile. Both machines can take use of a hard drive and have networking capabilities--two things the 'Cube doesn't do. And nobody thought that any console was hack-proof--some of us are disappointed because hacking encourages piracy, which is a big reason for higher development costs.

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Game-o_O

Lol, is this posting of the extraction tools helping us hack the 360? Is microsoft daring people to crack the system?

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anthrt

you guys really dont know what youre talking about. not one single person here has posted an intelligent thing. yes, modchips CAN be used for piracy. but that doesnt mean it's their only use. xbox-scene.com does not promote any kind of piracy in any way. just because the article mentions "hackers" and "xbox 360 cracks" you all assume that 'oh noes they must be pirating games!! the cheapskates!!' "modding" and "hacking" the xbox 360 is so much more than pirating a few games.

Avatar image for SanojeiSanna
SanojeiSanna

The fact that M$ is easily hacked anyways should come as to no surprise to anyone. In fact, anyone stupid enough to think M$ can actually make anything hack-proof must be either a Microsoftie, a fanboy (why? Who knows!) or is in serious denial about M$'s obvious inability to hack-proof anything. So far, The Gamecube is the only near-hack-proof console which without PSO EP I&II GC hacking would be non-exsistant. Yet with that, hackers found ways to exploit the console so much so as to be able to copy games and what have you. I used it as a hack server for AR code making for PSO but unlike other hacked consoles, the limitation of GC hacking meant that it was still a relatively safe system from hacking. M$ is notorious for it's porous and pathetic security (which explains why every month a new security rollout for Windows and IE is neccesary) so again, anyone who had some thought that M$ would be secure this time around is smokin' crack. They had since 1985 to secure their OS and to this day, all the consumer gets is a bloated 300MB+ of security updates. Ix-Nay on the secure XBox 360 notion. M$ only knows how to protect one thing - their monopoly! Hahahaha....serves you right M$. It won't be long now!

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davahsa

I think Microsoft might be embraceing hacking this thime around. Though not publicly. When I first put a burt cd into my 360 and it played it I was blown away that they incorperated this kind of functionality. Right out of the box the Nextbox (with hard drive) is like a moded xbox. The record button on the remote.... the very versitile usb port.... the enginering of the device to easily add new disk drives and the push to launch in Asia all promote modding to a HUGH degree! That means lots of cool stuff for us and the excesability is mind blowing. I never modded a system and I'm sure that it will be a snap for even me to do some BAMFing sweet stuff very shortly. If you still don't like the 360 then right now your just ignorant torwards entertainment in general. The posibilities are really there for a new type of console and even a new type of acceptence torwards consoles! It is VERY exciting. They did a awesome job....embrace it for your own gaming goodness!

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_sean_05

Mod chips for 360 would be good. Its processor could be used for alot more things than playing pirated games. If you could put linux on it...anyways, i dont see people buying as many games for 360 because a.) they're $60, and b.) most of them suck. bad. And mobber, if you'd ever 'offer' something to microsoft, youre an idiot. What have they 'offered' you? A mediocre OS, succeptible to countless worms, trojans, hacks, etc.? Good gaming consoles with Mediocre games developed by huge corporations and their subsidiaries? Please.

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zymase

Well, everyone knew it would happen, so there it is. Just remember, for all you tempted to run mods on the 360, to consider whether it's worth voiding the warranty, etc., not to mention the $400 if something goes wrong.

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bossjimbob

Quote: ptown58 "If you people really hate thieves then you must really really hate microsoft, but you still give them your money ?" Microsoft spends millions on R&D to make their products. They employ thousands of people--many of whom depend on their salaries to make ends meet. A couple of hackers aren't doing anyone any favors. Feel free to dislike Microsoft if you want, but likening them to the same level as common thieves is pure idiocy.

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srpots

why would someone who can manage to pay $400 for a 360 use pirated games, which happen to be illegal. people with a 360 but need to resort to fake games dont have the money to really have a $400 peice of junk.

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Arkasai7

Keep in mind that the industry of the future you (mobber) described, where only large companies will be able to bankroll games, is already a reality. All the small production houses are being snatched up by the big fish like EA. The gaming industry has already done that on its own. There will be no "start up" companies in the future. In fact, one of the few ways I can see start up houses springing up in the future, is through hacks. The costs of production greatly exceeds the budget of a bunch of guys coding in their basements. The most cost effecient way of getting your material out there would be pushing the game yourself.

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ALLoY1717

it was only a matter of time.

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ptown58

If you people really hate thieves then you must really really hate microsoft, but you still give them your money ?