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Xbox 360 file system de-coded

Console-cracking efforts continue

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The Xbox 360's DVD file system has been exposed, a coding group calling itself Pi, has claimed.

The group said it has posted source code for a utility that allows discs' files to be extracted and displayed as raw data. The group admits there's not much that can be done with it beyond explore the file-system structure, if anyone is prepared to jump through all the hoops necessary to bring code and disc contents together.

The utility runs on a PC, apparently, but Xbox 360 DVDs are incompatible with PC DVD drives. Since the code won't run on an Xbox 360, users have to create an image of an original disc then transfer that image to a PC.

The utility does not bypass copy-protection mechanisms, the group claims. More to the point, even creating and transferring an image of a disc you own is against the law - if only as a violation of the end-user licence agreement.

However, it is likely to provide the foundation for work seeking to attack the content protection put in place by Microsoft.

According to the Pi people, the Xbox 360's file-system is essentially the same as the one employed by its predecessor console: "Once you get past the protections and down to the raw bits on the disc, its just the standard xboxdvdfs, however the offset and layer breakpoint are different." ®

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