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Xbox 360 ban message detailing the user's violation of Microsoft terms of service. (Source: Xbox-Scene)
Microsoft's Xbox 360 now able to sniff out illegitimate copies of games

More than a year has passed since the release of the Xbox 360 DVD-ROM firmware hack to allow the play of backup games and bootleg copies. Those with hacked firmware had the ability to play copied games, mostly burned onto dual-layer DVD recordable discs, even online Xbox Live.

For a while, it seemed that such firmware modifications were undetectable by Microsoft – but that appears to have all changed with the latest Xbox 360 system software released last week.

Word came from the Xbox 360 hacking community that the Spring Update may have the ability to detect those who were playing copied games. More specifically, the system software would be able to determine the legitimacy of the disc in the DVD drive, not necessarily targeting any specific method of modification.

As a pre-emptive measure, hackers released updated disc drive firmware introducing various features, such as disc jitter, in an effort to further the exploit. Such efforts, however, appear to be all for naught, as report on Xbox-Scene indicates that Microsoft is now banning from Xbox Live users with modified DVD-ROM drives, regardless of firmware version.

The banning measures appear to have started alongside the release of the Halo 3 beta, perhaps in what is best described as a crackdown on Crackdown bootlegged copies that contained Halo 3 beta access. Just as it did during the original Xbox days, Microsoft is permanently banning modified consoles from connecting to Xbox Live, but not the user account.

Microsoft acknowledges its new initiative with an entry in its Gamerscore Blog: “As part of our commitment to our members, we do not allow people that we have detected to have modified their console to connect to Live. This is an important part of our efforts to try and maintain a fair gaming environment for the large majority of gamers that play by the rules. This topic is more important than ever given the recent release of the Halo 3 beta.”

The blog continues, “As a result, some consumers that try to login to Live who we detect have illegally modified their console will get an error code (Status Code: Z: 8015 - 190D) when trying to connect to the service. These users will not have their account automatically banned from LIVE, but they will no longer be able to access the service from the console they modified. We have stated in the past that customers can only enjoy access to the Xbox LIVE community through the use of a genuine, unmodified, Xbox console and we will continue to enforce this rule to ensure the integrity of our service, the protection of our partners and the benefits of our users.”



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RE: microsoft is taking greed to the next level
By AntDX316 on 5/18/2007 9:36:43 AM , Rating: 3
no i didnt mean it like that i ment microsoft converted the money they get from doing this stuff so they can in turn give the money to charity organizations such as the Bill Gates fund

and btw i dont do piracy i buy programs and games i want legally and would never distribute them because the companies spent so much time and effort on R&D that giving them what they want is only fair... of course this pirating is obviously wrong and is illegal and i dont support it


RE: microsoft is taking greed to the next level
By B on 5/18/2007 4:23:51 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are completely different entities. There is no overlap. Micorsoft did not fund the Foundation, Bill Gates did with his own personal and private property. Bill Gates owned shares of Microsoft, he then gave up his right of ownership of these shares to the Foundation. The Foundation is now merely a shareholder of Microsoft. There is no co-mingling of assets. For all intents and purposes, both legal and practical, these are two completely unrelated separate entities. As and aside, who cares if a charity receives a cash dividend from Microsoft, rather than Bill Gates? (Excluding the children in Africa with HIV or Malaria)


RE: microsoft is taking greed to the next level
By Neophyte26 on 5/18/2007 7:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
This is just an idea but possibly something that, in theory, may keep both sides happy...

If someone tries to use a "backup" disc, how about periodically asking the user to insert his original disc for verification purposes say, once every 2 weeks?

That way, those who haven't paid for an original game or those who have sold or returned the game after copying it won't be able to play it whereas those who've kept the game after making a backup only have to whip it out for a few seconds every now and again.

With a bit of thought there's nearly always a way to appease both sides... apart from those acting illegally of course.


By Christopher1 on 5/20/2007 7:34:26 AM , Rating: 2
Here's a better idea: make it so that people can download games online, and burn them to disks, but only once and only using a propriety piece of software!

That would be the better thing to do, and the smarter thing to do at least until they make "uncopyable disks", which they never will in all reality!


By bldckstark on 5/24/2007 12:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
How does that help? That is exactly what we have now, except we go to the store to get the "uncopyable" disk.


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