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Microsoft Banning 360 Firmware Modders? 166

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-it-wouldn't-surprise-me dept.
arcon5 writes "After several months of silence it was more or less accepted that Microsoft wasn't going to do anything about the firmware hacks that allow Xbox 360s to play backups. Rather surprising, considering the 'inventor' of the hack confirmed in March already that the mods are easily detectable, and the reports that piracy is running rampant in countries like China. It appears that Microsoft is finally taking action against them though, although they may be hitting the wrong persons." Best part of that article is the firmware chip encased in epoxy.
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Microsoft Banning 360 Firmware Modders?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... is also known as "market share." Fighting it is shortsighted as heck.

    You want to get 500 million not-so-Red Chinese hooked on your product, and then tighten the DRM screws.
    • Piracy in china is also known as "market share."

      No, it's not. Market share is a measure of percentage of annual sales, not annual piracy.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by doodlebumm (915920)

        In many cases you are completely wrong. Market share is the percentage of people using a product. Even if they have no paid for it, the market share of users is extremely valuable. Otherwise Linux would have virtually no market share whatsoever. Nor would any other open source product, which is completely wrong.

        And another point, dollars spent is a completely bogus way to look at market share as well. Ferrari and Lambourgini would have much larger market shares if dollars spent affected the market share

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by toleraen (831634)
          In many cases you are completely wrong. Market share is the percentage of people using a product.

          You're not off to a good start yourself. [google.com]

          Ferrari and Lambourgini would have much larger market shares if dollars spent affected the market share.

          So now higher price = higher market share? Keep in mind there's another factor in there. Units sold. How many ferraris do you see on a daily basis? Now, how many toyotas? fords? saturns? I don't have the numbers, but I'm guessing the few hundred thousand autos
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:53PM (#16649207) Homepage
    That's a lot of modders, but it's not really that big compared to their entire subscriber base. Wonder why they bothered.
    • by shmlco (594907)
      So where's the TPM module that validates the firmware???
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Best Line:

        but that would be plain silly since MAC addresses are known not to be unique: they only need to be unique within their physical subnet.

        Clearly a 733t H4x0r, he knows all about the Mac Addresses :b

        You get those at a Fast Food Restaurant, w/ fries and a Coke....

        • by tbannist (230135)
          Actually, way back when I was setting up a test bed for ISDN routers, I found 2 different routers with the same MAC Address. It really threw us for a loop until I figured out what the problem was.
    • by HardSide (746961)
      Question is why they doing this now, especially near the PS3 release, bad move on their part.
  • by Quarters (18322) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:53PM (#16649225)
    "After several months of silence it was more or less accepted that Microsoft wasn't going to do anything about the firmware hacks that allow Xbox 360s to play backups..."

    How naive must someone be to think that silence on the part of a corporation equates to a tacit approval for people to circumvent a piece of hardware's embedded security system in order to run pirated copies of software?

    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:30PM (#16649869) Homepage Journal
      How naive must someone be to think that silence on the part of a corporation equates to a tacit approval for people to circumvent a piece of hardware's embedded security system in order to run pirated copies of software?

      Where in that sentence you quote does it say that they thought the silence was 'tacit approval'. There's a large difference between 'not going to do anything about it' and 'tacit approval'.

      I might not do anything about someone's propensity to emit noxious gas from their butthole in my presence, but that doesn't mean that I have given my 'tacit approval' for them to rip huge farts while standing in the same room with me.
      • by kimvette (919543)
        Hint: not all copies are illegal.

        Backups, for example. If you buy your kids an Xbox and pay $40-$80 per game, you do not want their grubby hands on the originals, you want to give them copies and keep the originals on the shelf out of harm's way.
        • you want to give them copies and keep the originals on the shelf out of harm's way.

          <sarcasm>But... but... but, the advertisements say copying that floppy is stealing! What kind of lesson are we teaching our kids if we show them how to steal a game?!?!?</sarcasm>

        • by Jayjr (696035)
          I always love the "its to protect the originals" line of thinking/excuse. Maybe teach your children to keep their "grubby little fingers" off the 40-80 dollar toys and learn how to treat electronics with care and cleanly. Anyways most publishers will replace a scratched beyond repair disk for $5 +/-.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tomstdenis (446163)
            Yeah except that copyright includes fairuse. Don't like it? Then PROPERLY LICENSE your software (e.g. have the purchaser sign an agreement when they buy a copy of the game...).

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dhalgren (34798)
            No.

            Historically, archival copies were allowed and expected to be allowed. No medium is impervious to aging and wear. Some media can be damaged by using them.

            Paying $5 (or 5 cents) for the right--and it is still a legal and moral* right to keep archival copies--is wrong. *IMHO, of course.

            Torben
      • by Babbster (107076)

        I might not do anything about someone's propensity to emit noxious gas from their butthole in my presence, but that doesn't mean that I have given my 'tacit approval' for them to rip huge farts while standing in the same room with me.

        Considering that "tacit" approval is something inferred rather than implied (the latter would mean words or actions indicating approval - like, perhaps, applause - which would remove the "tacit" part), the person farting could indeed infer your approval from your inaction in

      • by Jekler (626699)

        ...it was more or less accepted...

        That's where.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        I have irritable bowel syndrome, you insensitive clod!

        -Eric

    • by fithmo (854772)

      ...for people to circumvent a piece of hardware's embedded security system in order to run pirated copies of software?

      The software isn't good enough to pirate. Some of us just want to eventually run Linux (et al) on it and/or write some homebrew games.

      There are more uses for mods than pirating games. I have my old Xbox (v1.0) mod'd, but it acts only as a media center running XBMC [xboxmediacenter.de].

  • Pointless? (Score:3, Informative)

    by The_Pariah (991496) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:55PM (#16649257)
    I thought there was already a chip out that allowed you to turn on/off the modded firmware on the dvd-rom.

    Seems like the modders are always one step ahead.

    • by dspyder (563303)
      Not on the 360... yet... although I don't know the details of this particular hack. Even several of the physical on/off switch modchips were eventually able to be detected or thwarted by Microsoft code updates.
      • Re:Pointless? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DDLKermit007 (911046) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:14PM (#16649603)
        Uhh...no...physical switch chips can not be detected as long as they are off. I'm assuming your speaking of the original Xbox modchips here. Even software switch chips can't be detected on it as long as they are done right. The problem people ran into on the original Xbox was that they would initially sign onto Live with the stock HD, play for a while, put a chip in, switch the HD, and after a while MS began looking at HD serials. You were usually ok if you were never on Live before switching the HD, but many went on with a stock driver first, then switched their drive. I personally prefer the old Xbox since pirates could only play with legitimate games on Live and you could do a hellll of allot more with it than you can with the 360.
        • I did as you mentioned above. I had read about the bannings for the HD checksums. Fortunately I was able to find a felow that modded Xbox's for a private school with no broadband access. He would extract the EEPROM from somewhere (over my head) and "lend" it to others on the internet. The transaction was based solely on the faith that the particular xbox the EEPROM was extracted from would never be connected to the internet. Anyway, it worked for me and to this date I haven't had any problems. This is
  • That article is filled with conjecture. They get a reply that doesn't either confirm or deny that the account had been flagged and assume this is the official word...

    Get some more facts and come back.
  • slashdotted (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    After several months of silence it was more or less accepted that Microsoft wasnt going to do anything about the firmware hacks that allow Xbox 360s to play backups. Rather surprising, considering the inventor of the hack confirmed in March already that the mods are easily detectable, and the reports that piracy is running rampant in countries like China. It appears that Microsoft is finally taking action against them though, although they may be hitting the wrong persons.

    This thread on the official Xbox.co
    • Re:slashdotted (Score:5, Informative)

      by dgatwood (11270) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:24PM (#16649781) Journal

      but that would be plain silly since MAC addresses are known not to be unique:

      Uh... no. MAC addresses are supposed to be unique. Prototype hardware notwithstanding, you are prohibited from ever shipping Ethernet hardware in which the MAC address is not unique. Of course that doesn't mean you (as the user) can't change the MAC address in software so that it is no longer unique, but the address assigned to the hardware by the factory is, by definition, globally unique.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MBCook (132727)
        Which is not to mention that even if the MAC address never hit the wire as part of the protocol, MS could easily pass it as part of the conversation that goes on when connecting to XBox Live (just like I assume they also pass the serial number, dashboard version, etc).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jon Luckey (7563)
          In fact MS has used the MAC address when forming Globally Unique IDs in the past.

          At one point the easiest way for a program in Windows to get the MAC address of its main network connection was to get the systems GUID.

          Not surprising that they might continue the practice in XBox and send a MAC addressed based GUID soplace else in the protocol other than the ethernet frame.
      • by Jester998 (156179)
        MACs are /supposed/ to be unique, yes. However...

        I once saw a shipment of ~20 NIC cards which had 3 pairs of identical MACs (6 non-unique cards in the batch, with 2 cards sharing each of 3 MACs). THAT caused quite a bit of confusion when we couldn't figure out why the PCs they were installed in had extremely flaky network connections. :p

        Freak manufacturing error? Maybe. We never did find out how it happened. But duplicate MACs are definitely possible in practice.

        This was quite a few years ago, so I do
        • by 0xygen (595606)
          I have also seen this, but with onboard LAN, the drivers were meant to generate a unique MAC address for each one from the serial number, but a mistake in the driver caused all of them to be the same. Surprisingly even with three of them it was quite possible to use network shares and browse the web, a kind of swap would happen so one machine was "the one" for a while, then another would get connected.
        • by dgatwood (11270)

          When you see that, you should report them to IANA. Either D-Link goofed or those cards were counterfeits. My guess would be the latter, but that's just a hunch.

      • by flithm (756019)
        Yes, they are supposed to be unique, but MAC addresses have a couple of inherent flaws. Mac-48, for example, is expected to run out of addresses by the year 2100.

        Also, it's trivial to change the MAC address on a NIC via software spoofing, or in some cases to actually modify the card permanently (see MACChanger). I'm not sure if any of these techniques are possible with the 360, but I guarantee you if MS relies on the MAC, someone will find a way to produce a hardware address spoofer that you can just plug
        • The Xbox 360 lets you set the MAC address to be whatever you want. This was quite useful when I was staying at a hotel that required you to login with a web browser before using your network connection. I logged in with my laptop and then used my laptop's MAC address on the 360.
          • Confronted with a similar situation, I usually run tcpdump for a couple of minutes, and then just reuse one of the Mac addresses (and matching IP...) that I saw flying by. Much more fun and much cheaper.
      • by Tracy Reed (3563)
        The original poster was correct. It is true that MAC addresses are known not to be unique. They SHOULD be unique but they are not. I once received a dozen motherboards all with the same MAC. Intel server-class motherboards. Not prototypes or anything. The board had been in production for nearly a year. They were set up one at a time and deployed into a huge cluster in the datacenter and forgotten about. Tracking down the mac/ip collisions over the next year as machines with the same MAC addresses happened t
      • by ShawnDoc (572959)
        I work for a large company that makes networking equipment. I can state for a fact that MAC addresses are reused, not just by us, but by just about every networking vendor I know of.
        • by bit01 (644603)

          So what you're saying is vendors deliberately ship hardware that may fail when interacting with other hardware from the same vendor?

          The people responsible should be in jail for fraud as they are representing their equipment as interroperable.

          ---

          Marketing talk is not just cheap, it has negative value. Free speech can be compromised just as much by too much noise as too little signal.

      • by cdogg4ya (198266)
        There is no requirement that MAC addresses be globally unique as they only need to be unique within the Layer 2 domain (as the odds that two devices over a long period of time are going to find their way into the same L2 domain). Many vendors out there reuse MAC addresses after the life of the device has passed into oblivion. For example, I once ran across a MAC address conflict between an old 3COM 10BT ethernet interface with a newer 100BT ethernet interface (and not because they were reassigned)

      • I believe they banned based on some "Hard Drive Key" on the original Xbox. It's quite possible that the Xbox 360 has something similar.
      • by repvik (96666)
        It has happened before that huge batches of network card have shipped with the same mac address due to a flaw in the manufacturing process. Also, a lot of network cards allow you to set the mac manually. Counting on the MAC to be unique is silly.
    • by Renraku (518261)
      No surprise from a company that marks half of its legitimate software installs as pirated.
    • What you say is true but there is another piece to it, Xbox Live. With dashboard and XBL MS could easily pick that MAC up from the 360 and transport it to the XBL servers. Pretty simple code, I've done it on windows systems with C# for a few different reasons.

      As for uniqueness, I can agree that you can't rely on 3com, netgear, etc. to always be unique when it comes to their MAC address... however if you have complete control of the hardware, MS in this case, you can easily ensure that your MACs are alway
    • Hmmm... I seem to recall having visited a few websites which immediately posted in HTML/on-screen my IP and mac address as a routine anti-maliciousness measure.

      I could be wrong, but I can almost swear I saw my MAC...

      Nevertheless, should it not be a violation to pull a MAC from someone without interactive approval to do so? Nevermind the subnets. Just imagine if every time you go to Starbucks or Borders or to a hot-spot and your MAC is recorded along with bits and pieces of your traffic. Talk about fingerpri
  • Someone will blame Sony for this somehow. "OMG I can't pirate the games. It's like a rootkit LOL."

    "Bring it on."
  • No content (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:09PM (#16649491)
    Whoever wrote this doesn't have a understanding of how this hack works. Their simplification doesn't accurately portray how this hack works.

    From the article:
    The fundamental problem with the firmware hack is that it's a so-called Man in the Middle attack on the system's security. Imagine a phone call between 2 English speaking people, and you've got control over the line in between. By cutting in at the right moments, you can make it appear to one of the participants that the other one is saying something to him, but it's actually you saying something else and making him believe that it's a valid response. That's a simplified explanation of how the hacked firmware works: it lies to the 360 kernel about what the disc is saying about its authenticity. Now imagine if both the speakers on that phone line suspected you were in the middle, and switched to speaking a slightly modified dialect. If you're still breaking in with the original dialect, it's easily detectable that you're trying to fool around. Back to the 360, since Microsoft still has absolute control over disc contents and the kernel code, they can simply change the dialect on both sides and thus detect firmware hacks. If they wish, they can take any action they want upon detection, ranging from the simple Xbox Live ban to even bricking your 360 or disabling it to run any newly released games.

    Wrong. You are completely compromising the one end of the conversation. it doesn't hijack the communication at all. The dvd drive has been completely compromised and it can speak whatever dialect you make it speak.

    The way of authenticating a disc is already set and can't be drastically changed without significant changes to the dvd drive and all currently pressed discs. Its like trying to change away from CSS after you already have a ton of DVD players sold. The hack has been upgraded alot since its initial release and is much more difficult to detect. In its latest form you can't even read out the dvd firmware using the chipset commands.
  • if you read the article, it said that he didn't mod his xbox, so him not being able to get on doesnt prove they are banning modders, it doesnt prove anything
    • The article stated they are attempting to ban modders, which is not the same as able to accurately detect and ban modded XBOX's
      • by XMyth (266414)
        And its reasoning for this is that XBox Live support has a status code which says 'modded xbox'....so what? That doesn't indicate any action on Microsoft's part. It just means that their customer database has a status code for modded xboxes. Talk about jumping to conclusions.
  • ms dont really care about pirates, because the consumer buys some part of their family of products. allow people to copy 70% of the system and you sell 30% to a much wider audience.
    • by antin (185674)

      I agree that they should not care about piracy (for the reasons you state) however they very much do care.

      Look at the time, effort, and great annoyance they cause through their attempts at preventing windows and office piracy (just now a story was posted about only allowing one significant hardware change for vista).

  • by popo (107611) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:13PM (#16649565) Homepage

    My open source XBOX-360 Web Browser doesn't render Flash yet.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by justinlindh (1016121)
      You joke, but that's the reason that X360's aren't worth modding yet (in my opinion). You could easily run some simply great homebrew (such as XBMC) on the original modded Xbox, due to the hack allowing unsigned code to run. The code for this DVD firmware hack still requires signed code, so it's only good for piracy.

      This sucks for the two of you who ACTUALLY WOULD use this to back a game up (understandable, they're pricey at $60 a pop). However, the mass majority of people interested in this hack are pirat

  • It's fishy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wind_Walker (83965) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:17PM (#16649653) Homepage Journal
    Here's the Original Xbox.com post [xbox.com] about it. It seems very fishy for a few reasons:

    First, he's hiding his played games [xbox.com]. That's a very very rare thing to do, because it's just not necessary. Who cared what games you've played, unless you've modded something?

    Second, he's got a Gamerscore of 77103. For those who don't have a 360, each game is given a budget of 1000 Gamerpoints which can be unlocked however the game publisher wants - usually it's points-per-level, or for unlocking things in the game. Xbox Live Arcade games get a budget of 200. Gamerankings.com gives me a total of 66 games released for the Xbox 360. That's 66,000 possible points if he finished anything and everything - and most of the games are nigh impossible for any mortal to get all 1000 points on.

    Lastly, he's currently playing Cars online as I type. That game is not scheduled to be shipped until tomorrow the 31st, in-stores probably November 1st. If this were the only thing odd I'd just attribute it to a broken street date, but considering all the factors it sounds like he is using a not-quite-ethical way to play games in a way Microsoft didn't intend.
    • by dsanfte (443781)
      Ethical according to whose ethics?
      • by dsanfte (443781)
        Or to be more precise, not-quite-ethical according to whose ethics?

        Yes, the preview button is my friend.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That's funny... I saw Cars available at GameStop this past weekend.
    • Well, if gamerscore is greater than whats possible, I'd agree thats a pretty good clue that something isn't right. I won't argue that issue, and given the "Cars" bit when its not yet released in addition, I won't argue that the guy is probably modding.

      But don't bash the guy because he decides not to share what games he owns. Some people don't feel that is any of anyone else's business. Your argument (Who cared what games you've played, unless you've modded something?)is much like the arguments about encr
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      The highest score was 84,000, not long ago, I believe. The 360 does not require region DRM. Quite a few games play on foreign consoles, and the people over the 66 game limit will have played games from other regions.
      • by Babbster (107076)
        While there are a few games that are not region-locked, the vast majority are. A much easier explanation would be that I don't believe Gamertags are "region locked," at least in the sense that they are restricted to 360 hardware from one region. So, if one has, for example, a 360 from Japan and plays Japanese import games using the same Gamertag as they use on their US console, their Gamerscore can go over that which is possible using only games from one region.
    • by kinglink (195330)
      Claiming to have two systems should be the first clue, claiming neither was modded is the second, A quick look at http://www.top360tag.com/ [top360tag.com] shows how someone COULD get over 80K points ( one trick is to play non american games, apparently Rance6 (the top tag holder) has played 106 games)

      Honestly, it sounds like he's a liar and a cheater, and he was skirting close to the morality law (if not over it).

      Good for Microsoft if they nailed him, and it sounds like they did. One good trick for Microsoft could be to
    • by cdrudge (68377)
      In a past life when I worked at Blockbuster Video we could routinely "rent" movies and video games before they were officially released. It encouraged the staff to be knowledgable on new releases in case we were asked. If indeed he was playing the game, and based on his very high gamescore, it may not be out of the possibility that he could work someplace where they get advanced access to a game.
    • I think it would be more likely that he was an official beta tester, or an employee of microsoft's. So the whole thing could be a hoax.
    • by bryhhh (317224)
      There are 116 games showing on Xbox.com [xbox.com], I guess some of those could be unreleased, but I wouldn't have thought 50 of them where pending release. I wonder if gamerankings.com only list the ones they have reviewed?
      • by bryhhh (317224)
        I take that back.

        Of those 116 games listed on Xbox.com, 33 of them are xbox live arcade games. If only 66 are released, that would leave 17 unreleased games, which is a more realistic figure.
  • Reading the article cached at mirrordot [mirrordot.org]

    Amusing that the article has the word "backup" with a handy little tooltip thing which pops up and defines backups as meaning "Pirated games downloaded from the internet or sold cheaply"

  • Microsoft is banning 360 firmware modders
    Posted in Xbox 360, Hardware, Xbox Live by Curry on October 29th, 2006 at 18:13

    After several months of silence it was more or less accepted that Microsoft wasn't going to do anything about the firmware hacks that allow Xbox 360s to play backups. Rather surprising, considering the 'inventor' of the hack confirmed in March already that the mods are easily detectable, and the reports that piracy is running rampant in countries like China. It appears that Microsoft is fi
  • I'm just surprised they didn't take anti-mod actions right from the start. After all, they do lose money on hardware from every Xbox they sell (presumably to be made up in profits from games) and it's fairly safe to assume that people modding their Xbox would be the most likely to not buy retail software for it.
    • by BagOBones (574735)
      Na, it is better to wait till a bunch of noobs get there boxes modded and then get banned. That way there is all this word of mouth about some friend of a friend getting banned, so people are afraid to try.
  • at the pawn shop, newspaper ads, Ebay, and such? I expect the shelves to be full of modded 360s in no time.

    Don't get scammed.
  • I like the 360 because network play isn't ruined. Keep it that way. Punkbuster MS way. (and yes, if you can pirate the games people can do other things to them for there own advantages..)
  • Xbox live was offline October 17,18 and part of 19 to 'implement' just this. Kicking modders off. Honestly though most of the online community that's vocal about this likes it because it kicks off cheaters.

    Now the problem is that they're banning IPs so if you have one modded and one unmodded box you are SOL for both of them,
    • Thank the gods too. Cheaters with modded boxes absolutely ruined Halo 2 online multiplayer. At the higher ranks you're likely to spend more than half of your matches with cheaters. I eventually quit because it was too frustrating, and I fear the day the same thing happens with games on the 360.
  • In this case I think that the line, "and the reports that piracy is running rampant in countries like China," is totally out of line. While there is a problem with PC unlicensed software, I do not believe that there is one for the Xbox.

    I have, in the past, mentioned seeing PC software being sold at very low prices, this doed not hold true for Xbox sostware. The reason for this is simple. Not only in comparison is there little Xbox software, I have seen no Xbox software, at all, in China. I do look in the e

    • by gauauu (649169)
      You must not live in Shenzhen.

      I saw plenty of Xboxen for sale. They came modchipped and preloaded with plenty of games on a big harddrive.

      I know plenty of people that are in to them.

  • As long as they stick to DVD there's no way to discourage Chinese pirates, DVD-R are readily available in China and they can import Japanese Xbox 360 for cheaper than the US version. Paying for XBL and playing online mean jack for them.
  • Uh, its one thing to present a click through EULA that takes away your purchase and gives you a license, but how do they get away with what's effectively the same thing when you've paid for physical hardware??? Is there a shrink-wrap contract you have to agree to before opening the box?

    • by robaal (1019298)
      If it only bans you from Xbox live then I assume you can still use the console? It could be seen as breaking the live EULA then, if there is one...
  • On my old xbox I used to play a lot of custom halo maps with my friends that were imported from halo ce. One day I wanted to sign up for xbox live and as soon as it had charged the credit card I got banned for having a mod chip. There are other way of stopping cheaters other than banning all modded xboxs.
  • Those of us familiar with the OSI model and common network implementations will immediately know this is not true, because MAC addresses are part of the Ethernet protocol and live on Layer 2, and never get routed over the internet. In simple terms: your 360s MAC address is not remotely identifiable

    Bullshit. If the 360 can identify its own MAC address, and is capable of sending game and system related information to M$'s Live service, then what's to stop it from sending its MAC address as straight text? M$

  • How long till they make WGA for xbox to check the validity of your games?

  • From the article;

    There is something slightly fishy about the report though, being that it says the 360 is banned based on MAC address. Those of us familiar with the OSI model and common network implementations will immediately know this is not true, because MAC addresses are part of the Ethernet protocol and live on Layer 2, and never get routed over the internet. In simple terms: your 360s MAC address is not remotely identifiable. An option could be that the Xbox Live login code sends the MAC address itsel
  • Submitter is a crack whore? Slashdot has jumped the shark? I'm an Internet tough guy?

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