NEWS - Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Microsoft Points Exploit May have Cost the Company


A gaping hole in a promotional Microsoft Points system may have cost the company over $1 million.

A user named Dark, at The Tech Game forums, posted instructions over the weekend to generate free Xbox LIVE codes. The codes were generated via Microsoft’s own official Xbox 360 site and could be used to redeem Microsoft Points. Thousands of users are believed to have used the codes to generate 160 free MS points each time. The original forum thread, which has since been closed, has been viewed over 28,000 times with over 500 replies.

Some users claim they were able to generate 10,000 or more Microsoft Points. "Well Dark I have to thankyou I made a bot just for this and now have 380160," wrote one user. "Just Got 3k Micrsoft Points Thanks Brooo," wrote another. Microsoft’s Points system is the virtual currency for Xbox LIVE Marketplace, Games for Windows, Windows Live Gallery and its Zune online stores. The virtual points allow users to exchange cash from credit cards for virtual points to be used against goods. 80 points are equal to $1.

Microsoft has since fixed the flaw and is currently assessing the cost and damages of the exploit. Users were able to create programs that automatically generated the codes in a short space of time. A maximum of 10,000 codes could be generated according to Blorge, so theoretically it’s possible as much as $3.2 million could have been lost as a result of the glitch.



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