Surprise! MIT Student Cracks Xbox Security

Shock and horror, somebodyis managed to crack the security on Microsoftis console, the Xbox. According to Reuters, MIT graduate student Andrew Huang has revealed the process he used to reveal what goes on in the Xboxis secure boot process. According to the memo, a isecret boot blocki is used:

This secret boot block decrypts and verifies portions of an external FLASH-type ROM. The presence of the secret boot block is camouflaged by a decoy boot block in the external ROM. The code contained within the secret boot block is transferred to the CPU in the clear over a set of high-speed busses where it can be extracted using simple custom hardware.
The paper discusses it in detail and offers suggestions for Microsoft to improve the Xboxis security. Additionally, Huang noted in ia parallel efforti that the Xboxis serial number is stored electronically, potentially making the serial available to the Xboxis kernel.
What happens to this information when the Xbox is plugged into the internet? Because of the encryption used to secure the Xbox, the nature of the information that is relayed to Microsoftis game servers is unknown.
You can read the Reuters article in full at their Web site. If youire knowledgeable with hardware, you can read through Huangis memo at the MIT Web site.

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