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 Shouter202368

on the 1st page wat crew_sk said, i agree. The game companies are already rich enough. as long as they don't bankrupt the company though. and it is true they are giving jobs to people to come up with anti watever software

Avatar image for cusoker

Hackers aren't hero's, they're the crap that plugs everything up. get some morals people. soon enough there going to make it so only one disk can be played on one system, so you couldn't go to a friends house and play a game you have on their system because of these jokers.

Avatar image for vitorspencer

I own both PS2 and PS3. I'm not rich, or neither are my parents. Still, I've managed to always buy original material, anyhow! Yes, they cost a lot, but there are ways to prevent spending your money on crap... there's a reason why I subscribed to GameSpot Complete: I can judge games before buying them! What more do you want? Here they have everything available for your own analysis. Of course, people who mod their boxes and copy games have their own right as well to do it. Naturally, that also involves responsibility for your actions and possible consequences. Too bad, you chose your own path! And if you have the time to do it, lucky you, I prefer to go out and spend some quality time. But I prefer to buy original materials, at least when I complain about something I have the moral reason to do so. Luckily, I am a smart person, and prefer to prevent myself reasons to complain. Thanks gamespot for giving me the tools that allow me to trust my judgement.

Avatar image for niqpere

i agree with donkeljohn if hackers would find something else to hack i wouldnt have to pay so much for a video game and that makes me mad grrrr

Avatar image for Violent-M

Things like this don't contribute to the $60 dollar price tag. Generally people who pirate games are just taking them for themselves and otherwise wouldn't have been able to buy them and only a minute amount are actually selling the copies for less which I find very wrong. The 60 dollar price tag is just the extra 10 dollars they slap on every new generations. Just remember 64, ps1, snes, nes, and any other launch period for a game system. In any case the other 50 dollars we pay is caused by the lack of quality in games. Too many companies churn out crap that no one wants and they lose money, so they have to keep charging tons to hope to make their money back for a title while at the same time paying off debts from other ****** titles.

Avatar image for Vash67

I'm sure things like this are contributing to most 360 games being $60.

Avatar image for Petri87

Well MS might do a Sony. release patches through Live that fixes the problem and you need the patch to play games released after the patch

Avatar image for Sha01in

M$ has done more harm than any hacker. We'd be using far better products than Windows and all M$'s other garbage if they weren't so skilled in using guerrilla tactics to protect their monopoly such as propaganda campaigns, corporate espionage, vaporware, and buying out any and all their competition then spending billions on marketing themselves to the sheep as a people friendly company. They steal other companies ideas then rehash and remarket them as their own. As an example, Longhorn's WinFS which they are hailing as the next leap in the evolution of file systems is a replica of the filesystem used by OS/2 back in 1996 - an example of a far better product that was squashed by the M$ marketing machine. There have been thousands of such products and companies that have been crushed by M$ over the years that cumulatively outweighs any damage done by a few intelligent people reverse engineering a copy protection scheme. True that M$ pays their employees well, but that's like saying "at least Hitler's followers got good perks". Their employees are just sell-outs that are supporting one of the most evil corporations on the planet. The same can almost be said for their customers, but unfortunately most people are too ignorant or uninformed to realize it. It's a shame more people don't actually understand the inner workings and attitudes of the company and choose to support their ideology and make them stronger. If you're a fan of stifling innovation, paying high prices for mediocre products, and supporting sleazeball business practices, keep it up.

Avatar image for trick_man01

stupid hackers

Avatar image for jrett

All I'm saying is that piracy is theft. If you're okay being a theif here and there, then thats fine. None of my business. I'm simply pointing out that it is NOT a victim-less crime you all make it out to be. Justify it as you will, but if you think that taking something from someone without thier permission is not theft, then you need a reality check. It's really quite that simple. I don't claim to be an angel myself. I will justify my evil doings as much as the next person, but I understand that it is theft. I don't try to convince myself or others that it isn't and I certainly won't advocate it to others. It is theft and I know it and you know it. Don't try to justify it, cause it is what it is. Just accept the fact that when you take a copy of a piece of software, you are stealing it.

Avatar image for Omega-Protoman

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. " Remember this folks, the few people who benefit from this actually cause us to pay more money for games. If it got bad enough they wouldn't even sell the games. Piracy is bad.

Avatar image for kyle_brown_20

Does anyone out there actually think that if games werent so overpriced people wouldnt be inclined to do this...i mean wtf is happening when a game with less features then its previous concole version comes out and cost 20 dollars more (canada)...so i suppose it takes more time to code less features...im all for buying games i love to support ubisoft and bioware but dont sell me a %$#^ game for more than its worth. Respect is due on oth side of this equation!

Avatar image for gamespotter001

I hope they release a modchip so that i could buy a Japanese 360 and change its region settings into Region 1 instead of Region 2. Its easier to get Japanese 360's here coz lots units are available unlike in the US where there's still a shortage

Avatar image for redxwarriorxxx

If they spent this much time getting jobs in the field they could afford to just buy the games. I have no respect for modding a console because they're made like that so everyone is the same on-line and only skill separates the winners from the losers. But for playing imported games they should just build it into the system so as long as you have the console and the game you can play. I know it's not a huge market for game imports but they should at least acknowledge it and have something their already for it.

Avatar image for Dman4Life1217

Well, I support mod chips, because I play import games. It saves me the trouble of having to purchase a 2nd system to play games from other regions that won't come out here. For example, Wrestle Kingdom./

Avatar image for silverthornne

I don't d/l music since I'm perfectly happy with my local radio stations and bought CD's from my favorite singers (I listen to radio stations a lot more though), however I've actually avoided buying a CD I'm interested in (Natasha Beddingfield's) because of the Sony rootkit fiasco. Anyway I am one of those who does not support piracy in any way. Digital entertainment is an industry like any other, one that my industry (I'm a graphic designer) happens to do a lot of work for. Their sales suffer, the sales of my industry suffer from potential lost market. Everyone that supports this kind of thing needs to consider how the money these companies are losing benefit anyone at all. Money needs to flow to benefit everyone. Stalled money's just stagnant, clogged down.

Avatar image for pablodaphatj

This is too funny....all of these self righteous people who say they "hate hackers" or "they are ruining it for everyone" or even "this is how they put game companies out of business!"..... right. Let me ask you this.... how much music have you downloaded that you never bought? "This is so wrong!" ... oh please....

Avatar image for Dahok

i say bravo to them i mean come on you know you all want to say it "yea dude fight the machine." i dont take any part in mods or hacks and i dont really play too many console games any more anyway until PS3. However id say bravo to those guys for having the balls to say to M$ hey we've started phase one into your system what are you gonna do about it.

Avatar image for soultaker2004

I understand that illegal copying is bad but I think that Microsoft is f****** stupid that they dont embrace modding. Modding is one of the neat things to do to games because they breath life into an old title.

Avatar image for OPOLO

Console Hacking and/or Hackers, is one of the reasons for console price increases in recent years...

Avatar image for automaticsnake

I hate people like these. They probably dont have the money to buy their own games lol. They need to be found and locked up.

Avatar image for chrisdojo

wouldn't it be cool if you plugged a mod device into the 360, and as one of the new "security features" implemented by m$, would make the 360 implode? that would stop people from trying to steal games...

Avatar image for NeoJedi

Man I hate those stupid hacker-babies with nothing else to do than this. Go get a real job in programming or something. I buy my games and my hardware and I think I'm not the only one who works hard to do it.

Avatar image for DougtronSquared

Hacking for the XBOX is far more than just for piracy. I have my XBOX and PS2 chipped and I always buy the actual game and then just play backups and keep the original sealed so I don't have to risk scratching them, especially with expensive import games. And for the XBOX there is so much good homebrew software. These people aren't just doing it to piss off Microsoft and make money, most of these people don't really make much money. My modded XBOX is almost better than my PC. I use it to watch video files, store my music on, run emulators. The hacking is very much for the better.

Avatar image for ewjim

They prety fast... I think it was not good protection after all.

Avatar image for WarKirby3333

While i don't generally support hacking and piracy, I feel that with the rise in game prices this was partially deserved. Games have been too expensive for a while now and making them more so is unfair. When the PS3 comes around I may have to (partially) turn to piracy myself because i cannot afford

Avatar image for ThornWithin18

I can't stand these people. Although games are a bit expensive, there's no excuse for doing this.

Avatar image for Kilik_Raizen

for me the crime is the abusive cost of the games... and besides don't you people ever make backup copies? i would never forgive myself for losing a ORIGINAL CASTLEVANIA... it would made me cry blood tears

Avatar image for Vastet

Anyone who believes that Microsoft is even remotely indispensable, or has made your life easier in any capacity is an idiot. Without them other companies that had better products would have stepped in to fill their place. MSN? People would have used AOL or Yahoo. IE? Any informed internet user uses Firefox or a different browser than IE. People would be using Linux, or a real mac instead of a fake one. Internet virus' would be extremely rare instead of mainstream, which by itself would save enough money for people and corporations to do without the convenience of Microsoft's products working well with each other. Even Microsoft disappearing today would be no more than a commercial annoyance as companies shelled out the cash to change their operating systems, then write it up as a business expense for tax time. The only people who have truly benefited from the existence of Microsoft are those that have worked for Microsoft, do work for Microsoft, will work for Microsoft, or have/do/will work for a company that profits by Microsoft's attempts at being a monopoly.

Avatar image for Igiss

Hacking will last forever. No universal way to prevent this, for Microsoft or any other console manufacturer. However, hardware modifications (installing illegal chips) for an expensive device like Xbox 360 are not what most gamers want. On PCs it's alot simplier.

Avatar image for nemes1s3000

Poor guys.

Avatar image for ultramagnus007

People who cant afford the expensive products , they do a such thing ,

Avatar image for Violent-M

Alright first off, misuse of the work hacker. A hacker is someone good, cracker is bad to be brief and to the point. And secondly what else is new, I'm supprised it took this long for the 360 to be cracked. And it is not a bad thing at all. Without these people constantly testing the limits of security on software and hardware, innovation in that area would be dead.

Avatar image for YukoAsho

Exactly, Ace. You may have meant that as a joke, but I've always wondered that. Not only is stealing illegal, but it violates the moral code of almost every religion and philosophy known to man. Now I know there will always be thieves, but why is software piracy so widespread and so supported, when most of these people would likely not steal a game from a store if given the opportunity.

Avatar image for acekicka

Hackerz need to ask themselves WWJD??

Avatar image for YukoAsho

Rather than passing the costs to the developers, Microsoft will probably do what Sony has done with the PSP - Make firmware updates and hand them to the developers saying "Your game will auto-install this on 360s running earlier versions." Much like MS supports and tries to protect XP and 2000, Microsoft will protect the 360 in order to keep it afloat against the PS3. And I doubt it'll be limited to new games. Wanna update your Xbox backward compatibility? The firmare update's bundled in there! Wanna use Xbox Live? Time for that firmware update! They've built their console around Xbox Live, and that may end up being their best protection against this piracy nonsense.

Avatar image for calibretto1

The bottom line is that what they're doing is illegal. The sooner they are successfull at hacking the 360, the sooner this spells the death of the system, and everyone loses.

Avatar image for 4esth

Considering that everygame has some type of Xbox Live support, and that there could be many unseen layers of protection, I don't think there is a positive outlook for the crackers.

Avatar image for allen30009

they only trying to hack becuz they dont have anything ele to do with they time an they suck at playing the games hackers i hate the u spend 400$ on something an hackers try to do stuff like this

Avatar image for pinkshroomy

I'm more looking forward do other types of modification to the 360, like playing other video codecs than the ones supported by the 360 MC. As for playing copys of games.. I like to have backup of my games in case of scratches. For instance, my Halo disc got stepped on, but instead of buying it again I just used my copy. But I will admit that if I don't plan on buying a game I'll just get a copy... I mean.. if the game isn't worth buying for $50/$60 then I'm not going to buy it. If I can find a copy of it then I will copy it (Because its free) So.. its not like they would gain money if I didn't get a copy of it because I'm not paying for it anyway. I also think that the fact that it costs more to make a game for the 360 has something to do with 3rd party games being $60.. not piracy. To end my comment I guess I'll say.. Some of you take this news too seriously.. I read.."They should be stoned!" **** "they ruin it for everyone".. well get over it. it happens. Okay, well I'll leave you to your whining. Also I wont reply to your insults or opinions in this section.. because I really just don't care about your opinions. Have fun children! Love, Pink P.S. I Liked your post majere613. I Agree with it.

Avatar image for majere613

I'm broadly on the anti-hack, anti-piracy side of the argument. I'll admit to having quite a few PC copies, but they're mostly games I had no intention of buying which someone gave me. What really annoys me is that console manufacturers still insist on region-coding games. I have a chipped PS2 so I can play imports (like Suikoden III, which never came out in the UK)- but as a side-effect I could play copies with it if I wanted to. That has to be a factor towards the increase in piracy. I've yet to get a straight answer as to whether 360 software is region-coded, but I'm pretty sure it is, which means at some point I'm going to want a modchip. Unless, of course, publishers decide to start releasing stuff over here at the same time as in the US.

Avatar image for DrKill09

these hackers should be arrested.

Avatar image for jrett

I see that hacking is about challenge and not money. However, there are plenty of ways to challange oneself. Here's a thought for a challange... Make a really good game. Also, I can't argue much about the price of games and that the makers charge that amount because they can. Except for this point: Unless you've been living under a rock, you may have noticed that game companies come and go, they report good quarterly financial results, they report poor financial results, and some go under. In other words, the business is indeed very much affected by sales/profits, poor sales, and all that goes with it. Now I can't put actual figures on it, but I think it would be ignorant to believe that none of the game manufacturers that have closed thier doors may not have had a better chance of surviving had they have a little more profit and a little less piracy. Oh, about that Brazil thing. Maybe if selling software there would actually be profittable, e.g. less piracy, the pricess would come down to a reasonable figure.

Avatar image for Iriseon

Sheeple, it's about the knowledge. Hacking is about the challenge. No, this is not the reason games are expensive, neither is increased development cost the full reasoning for $60 games. Get this: they do it because they can. Supply and demand, coupled with market flooding and unrealistic market growth expectations. If you buy these games for full price, you're a sucker lining the pockets of a bloated industry. Don't pay more than $50 MSRP. Quit defending developers like they're starving.

Avatar image for ArmoredAshes

Niice job cracking it....haha

Avatar image for Vicious-sama

Get off your high-horses people. And reality check: People are gonna be playing pirated games on the 360, PS3, and revolution someway or another. It's not like someone at Microsoft or Sony looking to make a quick buck won't get paid off the pirating industry anyway. No, no, no, It's not like Piracy isin't a multi-million dollar industry. Only thing I think the companies can do is ban modded consoles from their online service. Anyway, I don't pretty much care of online services.

Avatar image for jakeboudville

This news is kinda old isn't it?

Avatar image for Rato51

i think youre right jrett, people suoldnt buy pirate games, but then again, i live in brazil where piracy has taken over and original games costs 100 dollars. That happens because MS or Sony dont have any interest in producing games and consoles in countries in south america(or at least brazil) BECAUSE of the whole piracy. I cant stop piracy, can i? im not saying i agree with it, but im in the midle of a "if you cant beat them, join them" situation. i simply cant afford new games. and before you say "rent then, that's what we do", people just dont do that in brazil. there are places to rent games but they are no good, and it costs the same price to rent a game for 3 days and buy a pirate one. so you see, im not an idiot, i just happen to live in the wrong place for gamers.

Avatar image for jrett

Also, in response to the message posted by trj156. You say that sony lost a PSP sale to you? Let's break that down and see if they will come out ahead or behind because of your lack of purchase: Sony didn't get to make a $0 profit for selling you a game machine. (remember the production costs vs revenue). Now I don't claim to know what sony makes on each sale of PSP, but we'll just us $0 here for grins. You claim to support piracy, so you'll probably never buy a game from them. So, it seems they've only lost a $0 sale. However, say that you did grace sony with your $0, and since you support piracy, you'd probably advocate to your frinds what a great system it is for running pirated software, so now sony is selling a bunch of systems for $0. Meanwhile all these people are not buying games, of which even if sony doesn't make the game, they get a share of the $$ for. HOwever, no one is buying these games because hey, they're free if you get a pirated copy. What incentive do these devs have to make games now? Anyway, so the $$$ that sony would get from game sales is now gone. So, in effect, you've managed to take money from sony. So, should sony feel bad that you didn't buy their platforn? I think not. You piracy supporters never think your scenarios through. You only think of how it effects you in the short term, here and now. Question: why would any company sell a product that won't make any money? Answer: (Do I really need to say) Businesses are about making money. When you don't live with mommy and daddy, you may learn about this.

Avatar image for jrett

Let me see if I can put this in as simple a terms as possible for the idiots out there that think piracy is a good thing. Devs make games for two reasons. They enjoy it and it pays their salary. In order to pay their salaries, the games have to sell profitably. In order to make a profit, the sales revenue have to exceed the production costs. (which, by the way, includes anti piracy schemes) Does that make any sense? Are you guys still following? Good. Anyone disagree? For a game production, do you think that the amount of piracy for a particular platform has any influence over the decision to support that platform (xbox, ps2, pc. etc). Do you think that a game will enjoy greater success on a platform which has less piracy, thus encouraging development for that platform? Come on people. Dig deep within your brains. You can do it. It is really easy. Think!!! Let's take another example. You take a year off work to write a game and think it is the greatest thing since sliced fanboys. It gets great reviews and starts selling really well. A week later the sales nearly stop because there is now a cracked version of it on the internet. You've made some money, but not nearly enough to warrent spending a year off work. What do you do?