A few days back, we reported on how a group of hackers succeeded in getting a pirate copy of Project Gotham Racing 3 running on a hacked Xbox 360, and subsequently released a video of the game booting as proof of their achievement. Alas, the hack has now been dubbed 'useless', not only by Microsoft (as you'd expect), but also by one of the individuals behind the hack.
Microsoft was the first out of the blocks to deny that its machine had been successfully hacked. In a statement posted on Gamerscoreblog, a page run by Xbox employees, Microsoft promised that it would be looking to counteract security threats with software updates, after it was revealed the hackers had modified the DVD drive firmware in order to get their "hack" to work.
Unusually, the hackers themselves agreed that their find was ultimately useless, as one of the hackers - nicknamed "Robinsod" - admitted in an interview with Xboxic: "We will not be releasing a hack, we won't sell it and no-one from Microsoft has approached me either to pay me off or shut me up with legal threats," he said, not furtively looking over his shoulder at a black car with tinted windows parked down the street behind him. "I want to polish this hack a little more for my own satisfaction and then I will consider it done. All the information needed to implement this hack is available and I have no interest in doing further research."
"This hack is useless to the public in its current form, it has not been 'weaponised' and currently requires that the flash chip is removed from the drive circuit board and inserted into a special flash programming device. And I want to stress that if you don't know what youâ€™re doing you can easily destroy your 360 - don't do it."
For now then, it appears as if Microsoft's claim that the Xbox 360's security is its best yet has stood up. Though that doesn't mean that hacking the 360 will always prove an insurmountable task, something that Robinsod agrees with: "Given the complexity of the software (and MS's reputation for secure software) it seems unlikely that there's no way in."