NEWS - Monday, June 3, 2002


Grad Student Hacks Into Xbox

A graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found a way to circumvent the security system for Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox video game console, opening the way for hackers to use it to run competing software, according to documents released over the weekend. The MIT computer expert, who posted his report on his university Web site, also questioned the security behind Microsoft’s soon-to-launch online service, Xbox Live, saying hackers could exploit a flaw in the system to identify individual players from their game machines. Andrew Huang, who recently completed a PhD thesis on supercomputer architecture, wrote a memo May 26 describing his efforts to build hardware that would read the Xbox’s internal security system. A link to the 15-page report was posted this weekend at technology news and discussion Web site Slashdot.org. Computer enthusiasts have been excited about the possibility of using the $199 Xbox, which is technologically similar to a PC, as a stand-alone computer running operating systems like Linux. Some see it as the ultimate slight against Microsoft -- using the software giant’s own hardware to run software that competes against its Windows operating system. In the memo, Huang said the Xbox’s primary security is contained in what he calls a "secret boot block" that is encoded into a media processor chip built for the Xbox by Nvidia Corp. Representatives of Microsoft and Nvidia were not immediately available for comment. An MIT spokesman told Reuters the university has not been received any request to take the paper down from its sites. Check out the rest of the article here.
Source: http://dailynews.yahoo.com

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