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Microsoft Investigating Claims That Hackers Can Access Credit Card Details From Old 360 Hard Drives

Posted on April 2, 2012 AT 07:06am

THE BUZZ: Microsoft is looking into claims that hackers can access previously stored and wiped credit cards details on old Xbox 360 hard drives.

Researchers at Drexel University are claiming that Xbox 360 hard drives retain credit card information even after they have been reformatted.

Jim Alkove, head of security at Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, has issued a statement to Joystiq saying that the company is currently investigating these claims. However, he suggested that it’s not possible to access previously wiped data.

“We are conducting a thorough investigation into the researchers’ claims. We have requested information that will allow us to investigate the console in question and have still not received the information needed to replicate the researchers’ claims.”

“Xbox is not designed to store credit card data locally on the console, and as such seems unlikely credit card data was recovered by the method described. Additionally, when Microsoft refurbishes used consoles we have processes in place to wipe the local hard drives of any other user data. We can assure Xbox owners we take the privacy and security of their personal data very seriously.”

EGM’s TAKE: We don’t feel that Microsoft would let something like this slip by, they take security very seriously, especially since the PlayStation 3 hacks on Sony. Surely when they wipe all data from the hard drive it would be impossible for it to retain the credit card information. If this does turn out to be true then we expect it to only be an issue for a very small number of hard drives, maybe some kind of glitch in the memory. We urge users not to start worrying about this until we here more from Microsoft on the issue.

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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