The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I caught some interesting tweets on Twitter this morning
from various Microsoft employees discussing the matter of Major Nelson's Xbox
Live account being hacked.
While the initial buzz seems to have died down and only a
handful of the video game news sites I follow even mentioned it all, I'm still
going to blog about it for the simple fact that it happened to me before - and it's enough to make a person very angry.
For those who aren't familiar with Major Nelson:
Larry Hryb (pronounced "Herb"), also known by his
Xbox Live gamertag Major Nelson, is the Director of Programming for the
Microsoft gaming network Xbox Live. His blog "Xbox Live's Major
Nelson" provides an "inside" look at operations at Microsoft's
So, apparently from what I've read a hacker breaks into
Microsoft's Director of Programming for Xbox Live, changes his profile
information to read something less than pleasant, makes a YouTube video of this
illicit activity and is willing to show others how to do it for $60 bucks.
One can only imagine the embarrassment Microsoft must feel
when one of their employees, especially the one in charge of Xbox Live, get's
his account hacked. The Microsoft Team associated with Major seem to have
downplayed the whole ordeal, but I've heard (thru Twitter and their podcasts)
how annoyed these same MS employees got when they were in a server with some
gamers using the Javelin glitch on Modern Warfare 2. I believe the discussion
went along the lines of, "these players had their accounts banned immediately,
right there on the spot". Must be nice to have that kind of power, eh?
I feel sorry for Major, I really do. He sounds like a likable fellow and is definitely enthusiastic about his games, but the truth
is, this kind of activity goes on all the time to us "common gamers".
I don't know that I would classify it as an epidemic, but if an average gamer
like me has had it happen and I've talked to a few people who have had it happen,
then chances are either you or someone you know has had it happen. If that's
not the case, consider yourself lucky, because when it does happen, it just
flat out straight up sucks.
My concern and the whole reason I wanted to blog about this
is because, I'm a little disappointed that when this happens, there isn't (a)
any readily available guidance to tell you how to respond and/or recover your
profile (b) there isn't any real action you can take against the perpetrators.
While this is true of other online crimes and exploits, I'm only going to focus
on the gaming aspect since this is a gaming site.
When it happened to me (it was actually my daughter's Xbox
Live account) I was fairly certain who it was - it was this guy that was on my
daughter's friends list who got mad at her for having some other guy on her
friends list. I know - petty high school relationships, right. Sheesh, when I
was a kid growing up, they just spread rumors about one another on the bathroom wall, but apparently
now they hack your profile and write all kinds of trash about you, which is
exactly what this young man did about my daughter.
Of course I was outraged when it happened and thankfully
this kid lived many states away or else I might be typing this from the
confines of a crowded jail cell with my new best friend, Bubba.
But once I started trying to recover everything, I got even angrier.
You can't call the cops, FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Men in Black or anyone else
to tell them somebody hacked your video game account and expect to get any kind
of legitimate response. I suppose you could try and call them, but my guess is
they would probably laugh at you. Trying to wade through the myriad of online
troubleshooting guides and FAQs to get assistance is also equally challenging
and head ache inducing. You can always try and call their support line, but
that didn't seem to get me anywhere but more angry. Oh, it got me somewhere, a
call center located in BFE.
While Major Nelson didn't even have to make a phone call
before his cronies were restoring power and busting heads together, not all of
us have that luxury.
There has to be a better way to report and restore a
compromised account; and there has to be stiff punishments for these criminals
that think its okay to hijack a person's private property and act like it's not
a big deal since it's just for a gaming system.
I recommend disintegration...