Feeds

MS seeks ‘game hacker’ to beef up Xbox security

So it'll get tougher with Xbox 2...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

Microsoft is clearly serious about stopping people messing around with Xbox, whether via mod chips, bios replacements or unauthorised insertions of alternative operating systems. The company is currently running a help-wanted ad for some kind of crypto gumshoe for the Xbox design team.

This individual, who will be known only by the codename "Software Design Engineer," will be responsible for "collecting, evaluating and conducting analysis of modification chips." Presumably this will involve an awful lot of hanging around web sites of indeterminate provenance in a virtual dirty raincoat. Yes, as you (did we say 'you'? - no, we didn't mean you, it must be someone else) will also be "tracking information & feeding back to the product team," a goodly bit of snooping would certainly seem imperative.

Rather more interesting is the rest of the job description:

"The candidate will also be responsible for conducting security design reviews on Xbox hardware & software, and will assist in designing hardware detection code fragments to be embedded in future versions of the product. To be considered, candidate must have familiarity with x86 assembler, PC bus architecture and boot sequence details. Hardware knowledge and low-level software experience required. Working knowledge of cryptography & common copy protection mechanisms a plus. Preference is given to those with hardware backgrounds and game hacking knowledge."

That means Microsoft intends to bury considerably more mechanisms designed to stop people with screwdrivers and soldering irons trying to pervert Xbox into (for example) a proper computer, and that monkeying around some more with the boot is probably going to figure highly in Xbox 2. But in that case, that familiarity with "PC bus architecture" is a bit of a dead giveway for a NotaPC Really, isn't it? ®

Related:
Xbox Linux project releases SuSE 8.0 howto
The Project's Debian howto - aren't they busy bees?

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Profitless Twitter: We're looking to raise $1.5... yes, billion
We'll spend the dosh on transactions, biz stuff 'n' sh*t
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.