Xbox 360 Ups the Ante For Xbox Hacking

November 28th, 2005 | by Mike |


Remember when I said I would only buy a Xbox 360 when its officially hacked? Well it seems that task is going to be a infinitely more difficult that hacking the original Xbox was. Engadget has compiled a quick list of the road blocks in the way to a hacked 360.

  • The flash is encrypted with a per-box key
  • The key is stored inside the CPU
  • The boot ROM is stored inside the CPU
  • Also inside the CPU is a hypervisor that verifies the running state of the kernel, making sure there is no modification (RAM checksums), else the Xbox 360 panics and blows up!
    The CPU contains RAM inside of it to store the checksums
  • All interrupt/exception handling is done by the hypervisor
  • All code runs in kernel mode
  • The emulator for first generation games can be updated via an official Microsoft download burned to CD by the user, though the CDs’ content will be encrypted and signed with public key cryptography.
  • The boot ROM is stored inside the CPU.

Yikes. Anyone think Microsoft is using the 360 as a test run for their “Trusted Computing”? I guess they figured they would throw it all in the 360, and if all the geniuses out there working day and night out of their parent’s basements can’t beat it, then its golden (for now)…and if they can beat it, then they move on the 2.0 for the next try.

Either way, I’m thinking that I won’t be parting with my money for the joy of a new Xbox 360 anytime soon.

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