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Microsoft Loses Millions In Xbox Live Points Scam

Microsoft may have lost millions of dollars in one of the most stunning code exploits of recent times; one which involves hackers discovering the algorithm Microsoft used to add free points to existing ones.

In less than two days, the hackers were probably able to siphon millions. Saveandquitgaming (opens in new tab) mentions $1.2 million but a Microsoft spokesperson said that it was probably "nowhere near" the actual amount and that they were still working to find out how vast the fraud was.

They also added that “Our Policy and Enforcement team is evaluating whether or not certain individuals have violated the Terms of Use for Xbox LIVE and will take the appropriate enforcement on an individual basis. Codes obtained legitimately by users will not be impacted.”

The site that originally distributed the application has now been closed but some users have reported on thetechgame forum (opens in new tab) that they have managed to get a staggering 15,000 Microsoft Xbox live points with a "street" value of nearly £300.

Xbox Live points can be used to buy virtual merchandise from the Xbox Live Marketplace. It is unlikely that Microsoft will revoke all the points and ban the accounts because we suspect that they do not have the ability to separate the genuine purchases from the fraudulent ones.

There are loads of apparently genuine websites promising thousands of free Microsoft Xbox Live points instantly; they'd only ask the users to fill a few surveys and give out their social security numbers.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.