Print 35 comment(s) - last by quiksilvr.. on Mar 16 at 3:27 PM

Hackers developed an algorithm that allowed them to use old MS Points codes to make new ones

A group of hackers have scammed Microsoft out of $1.2 million after finding a way to generate new Microsoft Points out of old point codes. 

Microsoft Points is the currency for online stores such as the Games for Windows - Live Marketplace, Zune, Windows Live Gallery and the Xbox Live Marketplace. There are plenty of sites that provide free Microsoft Points, but it's rare to find one that is authentic. 

But on March 7, a team of hackers did some damage to Microsoft's pocket when they developed an algorithm that allowed them to use old MS Points codes to make new ones. They then created a website that allowed anyone to do the same just by refreshing the page. 

Each time a user refreshed the page, a new 160 point code would be available. Eventually, a heavy amount of traffic to the site yielded problems, which caused a 404 error message. 

Microsoft was able to pull the plug on the site, but still ended up losing $1.2 million in MS Points. No announcements have been made in regards to what Microsoft plans to do about this. 

The Escapist magazine posed the question as to whether Microsoft has a way of distinguishing which points are legitimate and which are counterfeit, so Microsoft could ban those who try to use the hack versions, but it is unknown whether the consumer electronics and software giant has these capabilities. 

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Existing Cards
By Unfixedyouth on 3/10/2011 1:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
My question is. Does the same algorithm apply to the cards that can be bought in stores?

I would be one sad panda if I bought a card and it didn't work.

RE: Existing Cards
By KentState on 3/10/2011 2:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
I could see this being very likely. MS doesn't use a registration process when purchasing a card. If I remember correctly, when buying an iTunes GC, they scratch off a code and enter it into the register. That activates the card and allows it to be redeemed. This scam doesn't seem any different that someone walking int Best Buy and stealing a box of 100 MS cards.

The only saving grace is if MS is using a certain range and these hacked ones were outside that. However, the system allowed them to be redeemed so that seems unlikely.

RE: Existing Cards
By SKiddywinks on 3/10/2011 5:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
Scan card, swipe card, take cash.

There is a small delay between swiping the card and the till becoming responsive, and there is a small delay between when you hit the cash button to when the receipt actually prints. I would imagine the card is checked the first time, and authorised for use the second time.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
Related Articles

Most Popular ArticlesAMD, Zen Processor might power the upcoming Apple MacBook Pro
September 30, 2016, 5:00 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Are you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Apple’s Siri Speaker is a Game Changer
September 26, 2016, 5:00 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki