Feeds

Xbox 360 cracked

Bug allowed gamers to run Linux on MS box

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Hardware hackers have developed a technique to hack Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console so that it might be possible to run alternative operating systems on the hardware.

The approach, which only works given physical access to the hardware and is strictly for fun, relies on a taking advantage of a vulnerability in the Xbox 360 hypervisor. Properly exploited, the bug allows tinkerers to run arbitrary code (even an alternative OS) with full privileges and full hardware access.

The hypervisor on Xbox 360 machines controls access to memory and provides encryption and decryption services. The approach means that all games and other applications running on the Xbox 360, in theory at least, need to be cryptographically signed with Microsoft's private key and run in non-privileged read-only mode.

Unprivileged code cannot change executable code, but flaws in the way unprivileged code interacts with the hypervisor via the syscall instruction laid the groundwork to the hack.

Full details on the ingenious exploit, including proof of concept code, were published on BugTraq on Wednesday. The anonymous hackers tipped Microsoft off about the issue last month and "following cordial discussions" the software giant quickly produced a patch. The hack has been possible since the bug was introduced in late October. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.