Hacked Xbox Live member says brute force attacks are possible

A slew of recent Xbox Live hackings might share a common theme, says a network infrastructure manager. Jason Coutee, who unceremoniously had his online account broken into and $100 worth of Microsoft Points pilfered, believes he’s found a possible culprit: Microsoft’s own Xbox Live web portal.

Hacked Xbox Live member says brute force attacks are possible

Speaking to the blog AnalogHype, Coutee claims Xbox.com suffers from several security flaws, which make users’ passwords susceptible to brute force-style attacks.

The hacking victim learned through testing that entering an invalid Windows Live ID into the site’s sign-in screen, along with a similarly wrong password, brings up the error message “That Windows Live ID doesn’t exist. Enter a different ID or get a new one.”

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A valid Windows Live ID paired with an incorrect password, however, displays the following message: “The email address or password is incorrect. Please try again.” That’s Yahtzee for hackers.

From there, they can run a script to discern the proper password, says Coutee. Circumventing the site’s built-in CAPTCHA system, which automatically pops up after eight failed sign-in attempts, is also easy. Cyber crooks need only click the “try with another Live ID” option to reset the counter to zero.

Windows Live IDs can potentially be culled from a quick Google search of active Xbox Live Gamertags, which may then lead to accompanying email addresses at social networking sites.

It’s unclear if this method was employed last October when hackers stole Xbox Live accounts to buy content for Electronic Arts’ soccer title, FIFA 2012. Several victims shared their horror stories online, including blogger Michael Kurz, whose simple request for more information regarding his stolen account was shot down by Microsoft Customer Service.

Microsoft has yet to respond to this latest round of speculation. (via AnalogHype)

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