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New cases of Xbox Live account hacking come to light

Friday, 6 January 2012 14:48 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

More reports of Xbox Live accounts being illegally accessed have come to light this week, with the latest claim coming from a user who discovered her account had been sold through a site operating out of China to a Polish Xbox Live user.

Apparently, after discovering that quite a few unauthorized purchases had been made through XBL using PayPal, the user contacted Microsoft Customer Service. After being assured her account was deactivated while an investigation was conducted, she went about her business. However, she found that 72 hours later, her account was not blocked by MS, and more money had been stolen from her account through PayPal. You can read her entire story through the link.

What she describes is just another occurrence in what has become a growing concern since October, when Ars first reported that hackers had gained access to XBL profiles and purchased points as well as FIFA 11 and FIFA 12.

Despite the obvious evidence of unauthorized access, Microsoft denied XBL had been compromised despite a “limited” number of outside account access.

However, a couple of months later, late December to be exact, Shacknews’ Xav de Matos discovered that his account had been hacked into as well, and was told by a Microsoft executive he had become a victim of a “phishing scam”.

Both Microsoft and EA told de Matos that each company was currently “working on the situation.” Meanwhile, more XBL users have contacted de Matos, stating they were currently experiencing issues with their accounts as well – some through Windows Live even, and the purchase was the Collector’s Edition of Rift.

All of this is nothing new, though, as account hacks have been reported as far back as November 2010 when The Sun (thanks, MCV) ran a feature focusing on the hack. Microsoft again quickly dismissed the issue, claiming it was a phishing scam affecting user accounts.

It is still unclear how the XBL accounts are being accessed, so until the situation is remedied, it would probably be in users’ best interest to purchase point card from retailers to buy XBL content instead of using PayPal or a credit card.

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25 Comments

  1. Ireland Michael

    Phishing =/= hacking.

    It’s either that or a key-logger on their PC.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. djhsecondnature

    @1 – Or it was a hack…

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Joe Musashi

    Seems like this is more than mere phishing. Lots of interesting insight @ GAF. Including how it’s not possible to remove your credit card details from a gold XBL acct until the renewal date (wtf?!).

    JM

    #3 3 years ago
  4. SplatteredHouse

    Because of their inaction, after insisting that the account was deactivated, she had done what she could, but she suffered further damage through their negligence.

    How bad. A series of further reports cropped up during end of last week on this subject.
    @1: it would seem to me, as there are increasing numbers of these incidents being reported, perhaps it will soon be time to cease to continue being as dismissive about the reasons for them.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    This is a handful of individuals out of millions of users. It’s most definitely phishing or key-logging.

    I don’t even need to bother humouring any other possibility, as they will be little more than hot air assumptions.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Stephany Nunneley

    @3 My better half just removed his CC information from his XBL account just fine not an hour ago.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Da Man

    This has been going on for years, chinese are selling these ‘stolen’ accounts with points and content tied to them.

    They get you banned, but lots of people buy them in EE countries, since games cost way too much. It’s being obtained through phishing, social engineering and just users having poor passwords, pretty much along the same lines as those Halo3 Recon scams, MW messages sent from modded 360s and the such. Many share the same Live ID between their general hotmail and Xbox, which makes it even easier.

    Btw, this is how Major Nelson and stepto were ‘hacked’ : http://www.ripten.com/2011/04/03/steptos-blog-handed-over-to-hacker-irony-ensues-brycew/

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Joe Musashi

    @5 Well to each their own.

    This is the GAF topic which has some interesting things to say (and many excitable reactions, naturally) on this. It’s up to each individual to protect their online details as much as any corporation – so some may find it useful.

    @6 Sounds promising. :)

    JM

    #8 3 years ago
  9. OrbitMonkey

    It may not be hacking, but it’s obvious some knowledgeable crims are targeting 360 users. Maybe Microsoft could run a online safety ad or something. A tutorial for newer users?

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Da Man

    #9, Since you asked.. there was even a whole episode with Major discussing the basics, featuring Toulouse, where he explained how you can use the security questions to create a second password, simpleton-proof tutorial.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Psychotext

    It’s not phishing or keylogging Michael. I set up my missus’s account with a completely unique password (that she didn’t even know) and have entered it only directly into a 360 since the account was created.

    It happened on her account late last year… and if it’s phishing then they’ve somehow got into my brain without me actually knowing about it. That, or they’ve literally managed to hack one of our controllers / 360s.

    Now social engineering of some support bod in a random country (most of these accounts seem to be getting recovered to the far east), that could be quite another story.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. djhsecondnature

    @5 – I know of people who have either not used the accounts for months, or are far too savvy to be caught out by phising scams.

    The number of reports of this is becoming increasingly larger by the day, to the stage where ignoring it is now ignorance than it is to “humour” it.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Psychotext

    Cause aside… that they allowed more money to be taken from this woman when her account was supposedly locked is utterly disgusting. Even if they couldn’t lock her account (Seriously? What levels of ineptitude have you being unable to lock an account in a system you completely control?), they should have at least had the decently to either unlink her payment options or contact her so that she could try and do something about it (like cancelling her payment providers).

    #13 3 years ago
  14. lexph3re

    See I’m pretty much done explaining this stuff to people on what is and isn’t hacking. Mainly because people just have to justify what they believe is right. Now matter what level of hacking you view it from it’s hacking.

    But whatever i’ll just keep doing what im doing

    #14 3 years ago
  15. DSB

    The thing that springs to mind with these stories is my experiene from WoW. People got “hacked” all the time, but you could pretty much be sure that it was their own fault every single time.

    Even intelligent people managed to get their accounts stolen. I’m extremely paranoid about fishing schemes, and I’m always likely to delete e-mails from either Blizzard, Paypal or a similar place unless they’re immediately verifiable, and as a result, I’ve never had any account compromised.

    Of course people are always going to say it’s never their fault, and of course they’re going to say it’s everything between God and Chinese military hackers, but usually there’s a pretty logical explanation.

    Naturally you also have the breach element. Even though it’s rarely reported, any breach of personal information will lead to succesful thefts, especially if people don’t take precautions. It’s hard to say whether Microsoft has suffered one or not, but the fact that the media is picking up on every report doesn’t say a lot in itself. I’d think it would be hard for a business as big as Microsoft to keep it a secret, and it would be a pretty bad strategy to try.

    Personally I always take steps to change all my passwords whenever a breach is reported. I’ve never had an account compromised.

    @4 With the emphasis on the words “being reported”, I guess. After Gawker and PSN lost peoples info, there weren’t a lot of reports of people suffering abuse, but it’s always going to be an inevitable result of breaches like that.

    If people know who you are, they can and will succesfully claim to be you if enough competent attempts are made.

    Of course, wether Microsoft has suffered a breach or not is nearly impossible to tell.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Banazies

    ATTENTION!!!! This has happened to my account within the last couple days. I had no problem working with Microsoft on locking my account on Jan. 4th, due to being charged 74.99 for xbox live points I did not purchase! However the next day I noticed that there were two charges for 49.99!!! I called them back and was told that my account was NEVER locked… However, I couldn’t access it te day they locked it. They couldn’t ask my security question because it was in Chinese. I set my security question up with Microsoft the day I reported the initial charge of 74.99, IT wasn’t Chinese and I don’t know Chinese. Alas, I am thoroughly convinced that Microsoft Xbox Live has suffered a breach! My Xbox account was locked, unlocked and changed to Chinese, if hackers can change what technical support can do, then its not just my account it’s their system. I am really pissed with Microsoft, I am totaling up to about 175 bucks now, I can’t erase my bank information from the xbox live account because it needs to be investigated, so I had to cancel all my bank cards, pay pal AND HOPE that there was no other information that was compromised.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Da Man

    Simple, the tech support guy was possessed by a demon. That’s what you get for celebrating New year and consequently honoring Janus.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. DonnerKebab

    FYI – it’s still going on.

    A friend’s account has just been hacked (yesterday) and his password changed, MS points wiped, and worst of all a ton of points bought on his CC. This wasn’t from phishing – seems like a straight hack as he is very security conscious (password changes etc). Just saying so people are aware.

    Hope VG247 can keep on MS’s case about this.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Gadzooks!

    It’s phishing and it isnt going to stop.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Christopher Jack

    @19, No its not, accounts are simply being hacked, nothing more. I personally blame the whole Windows sign in bullshit, a universal password for completely different services is a terribad idea.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Gadzooks!

    Nah, it”s phishing.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Christopher Jack

    Any informed person would be aware to not send passwords over the net, you’d have to be an idiot to fall for a phishing scam like this, no matter how elaborate.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Gadzooks!

    Lol.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. DSB

    I noticed that there’s a huge problem with Xbox Live yesterday.

    I’m still using my hotmail account from over a decade ago, and my password and e-mail address are also the username and password for Xbox Live.

    So if people are using the same password for their e-mail that they use on every other site, it would be a snitch to swipe it with a phishing scam.

    Again, looking at WoW, I’m guessing that 99% of the cases of “hacking” that takes place there, pretty much every day, is a result of some idiot giving away his password due to a phishing e-mail, or buying gold, or telling a “trusted friend”.

    Live has Microsoft Points. My guess is that if you sent people a “great offer” for some of those real cheap, of course requiring an “account”, you’d end up with a lot of passwords, in the cases where e-mail and password is a match.

    I think that’s a terrible system. The reason why I keep different passwords for different things is so that can’t happen, but yet Microsoft insists on linking the two. There’s no excuse for linking an active e-mail account with one that (potentially) contains credit card data.

    That’s too easy to exploit, and I find that more likely than consistent, repeated brute force attacks, which would carry a lot more risk for those perpetrating them, and I have a hard time seeing a major corporation being able to cover up a major security breach, especially one that fucks up as much as Microsoft.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. polygem

    http://www.vg247.com/forum/topic.php?id=5671&page=1

    #25 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

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  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 22 team includes Barcelona, Chelsea players

    This week’s FIFA 15 Team of the Week is now available for FIFA Ultimate Team players. Each team member, as with previous weeks, is selected base on the previous weekend’s matches. Here’s the list of players now available: Starting GK: Claudio Bravo – FC Barcelona (Spain) CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Italy) CB: Ömer Toprak […]

  • Sony’s Spring Fever Sale winds down with Shovel Knight and Call of Duty discounts

    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]

  • Limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online kicks off tomorrow on consoles

    The limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, and Sony has provided details on the tester for those who’ve been invited to participate. The beta test contains the full version of the game and will run from April 23-27, and will start and […]

  • Dying Light debuts in second place on Media Create charts

    Techland’s Dying Light made its debut in Japan lats week, coming in a respectable second place behind Nintendo’s Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code. The zombie shooter sold 25,530 units on PlayStation 4, while the top earner for the week moved a little over 55,000 units on 3DS. Another western release when landed on the chart, […]

  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will release in the west this June

    Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has been given a release date by XSEED Games, which announced the localization back in February. The title will launch for 3DS in North America on June 2 digitally and through retail. It will be an eShop only title in Europe and Australia when it releases on June 4. A […]

  • This Overlord video teases four new faces of evil

    A new Overlord game is in the works, going by the previous teasing and this video – which teases the possibility of four-payer co-op. Or just four characters to choose from. We don’t know just yet – all we know is the team is asking you to “join the fellowship.” A new entry in the […]

  • GTA movie will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser, the BBC confirms

    The GTA movie Game Changer will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, theBBC has confirmed. The BBC also confirmed Bill Paxton will play Jack Thompson, a role Paxton already confirmed last week when speaking with Deadline. Here’s the synopsis per the BBC: “Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama […]

  • Take a look at Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode has received a trailer today. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold will come with two modes, Classic and Story. Classic Mode was trailered today and in it, you’ll get to make your party by choosing from 13 classes. You’ll be able to customise them too using the character creation tool. Revamped […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows to come with new challenge mode

    Shovel Knight’s upcoming expansion Plague of Shadows will bring with it a new challenge mode. Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games has revealed the challenge mode, one of the new additions coming to the game with the free Plague of Shadows expansion. “Are you more into digging than distillation? Already have your Feats book long […]

  • Nvidia releases complete graphical guide for GTA 5

    Those with GeForce cards will be happy to know that Nvidia has released a comprehensive graphical tweaks guide for GTA 5. Nvidia usually produces graphical guides for the big AAA games, and GTA 5 is no different. Their guides offer in-depth coverage of each in-game setting, how much they affect framerate, if they can be […]

  • Cthulhu voodoo: why Bloodborne is the best Lovecraftian game

    Sherif Said tackles Bloodborne’s links to Lovecraftian horror, explaining why you should face the madness and immerse yourself in its lore. Spoilers inside. No other game could commit to its themes so religiously without feeling the need to compromise its vision and veer towards accessibility. Bloodborne stands tall above any game that dares attach itself […]

  • WWE 2K15 is coming to PC this year

    WWE 2K15 will make its way to PC this spring. WWE announced that WWE 2K15 will make its debut on PC in the spring. The game will be based on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, both of which came out in November. MyCareer and 2K Showaces modes are included, as well as all […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new mod adds snow to GTA Online

    If you’re looking to get some snow in your GTA Online, someone figured out a way. Modder ECB2 created a mod that works with GTA Online on PC. The mod is called “Snow in GTA Online” and it does what it says on the tin. YouTube channel imperfectplayers captured a video showing it in action. […]

  • Deals with Gold: Call of Duty edition

    Xbox Live Deals with Gold for the week of April 20 are now live with mostly Call of Duty games. Various Call of Duty games are on sale on Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Live this week. Indie games Never Alone and We Are Doomed managed to sneak in as well. With the […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: PSN sign in problems fixed in new patch

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Mortal Kombat X and it brings an end to the aggravating sing in issue encountered by some users on PS4. Mortal Kombat X 1.03 patch has been released. The patch fixes bug CE-34878-0, which affected the PlayStation 4 version. The bug caused users to have to log in and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new patch fixes Windows Media Player issue, getting stuck in the clouds

    GTA 5 has received a new patch on PC to fix issues caused by the lack of Windows Media Player and getting stuck between online matches. Patch 335.1 is now available to all owners of GTA 5 on PC. The strange issue that affected those who didn’t have Windows Media Player installed, has been fixed. […]