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.


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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Avatar image for mobber

you guys know one of the main reasons why sega genesis went outta business? cause of jerks like this... no developers want to develop a game for a system that's been hacked. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. yeah, hacking takes skills, but being an idiot and indecent doesn't. what they should do is hack it, then go to microsoft offering their findings. perhaps a job that benefits society.... but no. they brag about it, put it out on the net. next thing you know, lil timmy's downloading halo 3 or some game from a start up company that really needs the money and they fold cause they can't make a living. these jerks defense: well, uh, derr, me thinks it will make microsoft pay for all their evils and force developers to work harder and produce games that are more complete in the long haul... right it makes developers work even harder, spend more money, take longer to produce games, spend more money. in turn: most good games are never made, games cost more, we (the customer/gamers) get to play less. only conglomerates that can produce these games and can bankroll these costs will survive... so go ahead and hail these jerks, just what the accountants want... such predictable sheep. (to those complaining about this being old news that you've have been priviledged to already be exposed to via other sources: so? the stuff's free)

Avatar image for AsimLeonheart

OH YEEAAAHH. These guys r GREAT. Now we will be able to buy cheap games. Especially in the subcontinent, where these companies never release their consoles or games. And even if there r any on the market a single game disc costs more than a month's salary of an average person. I know piracy is illegal and everything but it is for these pirates that we have been able to play games in the first place. To us these guys r heroes!

Avatar image for UnlivedPhalanx

I hate these people, they are ruining it for everyone.

Avatar image for Arkasai7

I'd gladly tool around with my 360 for several hours than have to pay 60 bucks for each game. Keep in mind that these systems provide a very challenging mental problem to coders and modders, and far fewer, than many of you think, are actually in this for money.

Avatar image for VFG

Heh, I'm just waiting for somebody to start selling modified 360's that you can copy games to the hard drive like we saw with Xbox.

Avatar image for bossjimbob

And people wonder why games cost $60 now. It's morons who promote piracy who are to blame.

Avatar image for ionicuk

This really sucks... it only makes the games perform worse because of all the copy protection code it has to go through... Who wants that!? Also, its only going to make game prices go up! Someone needs to do some research and release an analysis report on how much slower and how much more money it costs to develop anti-copy protection for hardware and software. I bet its not cheap, and us, the consumer, will only suffer! I just hope the cheats that ran rampant last year through X-Box Live dont come back.

Avatar image for Wangtang32000

personally, i'm still mad at x box stealing rareware (Rare) from nintendo, if they never did that some seriously good games wouldve came out for game cube, but now all i have to say is take that microsoft, you couldve shared, but nooo000OOO00oo.... ok.. i feel better........IN YO FACE! ok.. ok i'm done. why dont they just you know do that cracking stuff like after its out of the big business like dreamcast, i know people make their own games on dreamcast but u have to find there web sites, and thats kinda difficult at some times... but what the heck. its notme causing trouble.

Avatar image for chaosjap

thats gotta hurt :P

Avatar image for serioustom

that was fast.

Avatar image for limpbizkit818

ok who cares about some losers with no life hacking a system. so soon they will be able to brag, "o look how i am not supporting the Dev Teams that made this game because iam play a copy!! w00t w00t!!" just go buy the game, no need for copys.

Avatar image for Donkeljohn

spending more time on software security only slows down release dates, and adds additional costs to software and hardware expenses, which are then passed on to the consumer.

Avatar image for bfeinberg

Complete and utter SCUMBAGS! Too bad stoning is no longer an allowed form of execution.

Avatar image for residentchacho

thats so old dude i heard that about that extractor tool like 3 weeks ago.well this is another new i could fet about this: the team smart xx is developing a modchip for xbox 360 and its almost ready.im not sayinh this is good but if you are not well informed then you cant even try to prevent this from happening.

Avatar image for Crew_SK

I totally like what this Team PI did. This kind of people make companies spend more time creating uncrackable versions of games. How would the world be without viruses, cracks, trojans, worms and so on. Lots of companies will go out of business, because they earn they money by creating protections against people like Team PI.

Avatar image for haloplayer

There is a special place in the fires of hell for people like this.

Avatar image for xs101uk

Dude that's old news. I knew about that a week ago at least. It's big news in Poland I believe. Oh well, Microsoft has said that its near impossible to get pirated games to work with that copied info. Doesn't hurt to try though...helps companies stay on their toes against hackers and pirates.

Avatar image for djwglpuppy

I really don't consider this news... I mean they they have the file system figured out but haven't been able to do much with it. We'll see what happens...

Avatar image for Krypton36

Well, at least they can't play the copies... yet.

Avatar image for Bahamut24

I hate copiers, they just exploit some other peoples work and get their own money out of it.