Feeds

XBox promo code exploit set Microsoft back $1.2m

Points make prizes

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Hackers managed to figure out the algorithm used by Microsoft to generate promotional codes tied to XBox Live, costing Redmond an estimated $1.2m before it put a stop to the scam.

The algorithm created 160 counterfeit MS points, the currency used on XBox Live, at each iteration. "Hackers found an algorithm to add to existing, used codes to get new ones," reports gaming site Save and Quit.

There were two means towards exploiting the ruse. The first method involved repeatedly refreshing a website linked to code accumulation. However that route quickly became congested. The second method involved a trifle more skill and the use of counterfeit programs released on "gaming piracy" websites.

Save and Quit estimates that $1.2m was lost to the ruse before Redmond put a stop to it. Microsoft said losses were much lower without actually naming a figure.

Microsoft is reportedly in the process of identifying and cancelling points accrued through the ruse, which was only possible thanks to weak cryptographic security.

Meanwhile malware writers will doubtless jump onto publicity about the ruse to develop fake point-generator websites that lead only towards survey scams and supposed points-accumulation programs that are actually Trojans. Be careful out there. ®

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
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
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
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
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
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.