Microsoft recently released a new accessory for its flagship video game console, the XBox360. The Kinect Xbox 360 was heralded as a state of the art device that would allow users to play motion-sensing games without any game controller. Now, just a few days after Microsoft released Kinect, hackers have managed to break the security behind the hands-free motion-sensing game system.
To add insult to injury, the hackers went ahead and made a video about it, showing that the security behind Kinect had in fact been hacked and that hackers had taken control of the Xbox Kinect system. The call to hack into the system came from New York-based Adafruit Industries who offered a $2,000 bounty for an open-source hack. It didn’t take very long before video were popping off with successful hacks. You have to wonder if it was that easy, how easily are these systems which are connected to home computers compromised?
In a statement released to CNET, Microsoft said, “Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant,”
Without a doubt this exposes the weak security of this Microsoft product and it’s not good news for Xbox360 which is battling the Wii and PS3 for market share. But to me, it also shows how necessary extensive software security is becoming. This extends past the realm of video games and affects online gaming. Users play with sites they can trust, sites with a long standing history of safety and security, thus in this day in age it has become imperative that gaming operators go the extra mile to ensure site security, less we forget the PlayNow debacle.