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Xbox Live hackers targeting FIFA?

Microsoft maintains unauthorized Xbox 360 account activity is isolated occurrence as cyberattack reports targeting EA Sports sim rise.

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Source: Ars Technica, reporting on anecdotal evidence of an uptick in hacked Xbox Live accounts.

What we heard: Between Sony's massive data breach in April and the summer-long shenanigans of LulzSec, cyberattacks have been the story of the year in the gaming industry. Now, there's a question as to whether that story is gaining another chapter, as what appears to be an increasing number of Xbox Live users report hacked accounts.

According to Ars Technica's report, EA's FIFA 11 and FIFA 12 soccer sims are two games frequently cited in the hacking incidents that it has been told about. The typical report involves gamers being notified via email that charges have been made to their on-file credit card.

Even hackers like soccer.
Even hackers like soccer.

Upon investigating these charges, the hacking victims find that the perpetrator has downloaded a FIFA game, as well as large number of Microsoft points. These points are then spent on Gold Premium Packs and downloadable content for the game.

To further evidence its claim, Ars Technica points to a variety of forum posts and Reddit threads of individuals reporting compromised accounts.

The official story: "We do not have any evidence the Xbox LIVE service has been compromised," a Microsoft representative told GameSpot. "We take the security of our service seriously and work on an ongoing basis to improve it against evolving threats."

"However, a limited number of members have contacted us regarding unauthorized access to their accounts by outside individuals," the statement continued. "We are working with our impacted members directly to resolve any unauthorized changes to their accounts. As always, we highly recommend our members follow the Xbox LIVE Account Security guidance provided at to protect your account.”

EA had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus: Not bogus that Xbox Live users have experienced hacked accounts. However, it remains to be seen whether this activity is part of an epidemic or merely a spate of anecdotes receiving more play than they warrant. What is clear is that Xbox Live users shouldn't take their online security for granted.

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