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Wednesday November 9, 2011 2:42 pm

Xbox Live Gamertags and passwords purportedly leak

Xbox Live hack

UPDATE: Microsoft responded to our request for comment with the following statement from a spokesperson, which indicates that the company regards the "xbox dump" user information as a minor phishing incident, not a major network breach:

"We do not have any evidence the Xbox Live service has been compromised. We take the security of our service seriously and work on an ongoing basis to improve it against evolving threats. However, we are aware that phishing attackers will occasionally post small lists of victims on public channels, and we will work directly with the impacted members to resolve any unauthorized changes to their accounts. As always, we highly recommend our members follow the Xbox Live Account Security guidance provided at www.xbox.com/security to protect your account."

Microsoft may be sweating out a possible rehash of Sony's PlayStation Network nightmare from earlier this year if an anonymous posting of dozens of purported Xbox Live Gamertags and passwords is what it claims to be.

We've seen an anonymous Pastebin.com data dump called "xbox dump" posted Monday that contains more than 90 supposed gamertags, most with associated email addresses and passwords.

Microsoft had yet to respond to a request for more information and it couldn't be confirmed Tuesday if the Pastebin document contained real Xbox Live user information. Even if a number of Xbox Live members had their private information compromised somehow, it obviously would remain to be seen if the "xbox dump" document was part of a larger security breach or just a one-off affair.

If it is the beginning of something bigger—and again, there's no confirmation that it is—Microsoft wouldn't have to look far to see how badly a gaming console network breach can play out.

Sony's Playstation Network suffered concerted attacks by hackers believed to be part of the loosely affiliated Anonymous collective beginning in April of this year. Those attacks forced Sony to take its gaming network, the Playstation store, and other PSN services offline for weeks to resolve security issues, an outage that affected some 77 million registered accounts and cost the company about $171 million, not to mention a lot of disgruntled customers.

The PSN hack and outage was peppered with dumps of user information much like the publication of supposed Xbox Live user info this week.

This article, written by Damon Poeter, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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