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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. 

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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.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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