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Microsoft Talks About Recent Security Efforts For Xbox Live, Urges Smart Password Safety

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Posted on July 18, 2012 AT 12:19pm

There’s been a lot of talk in the last year or so about security on the Xbox 360, stemming in part from a seemingly widespread report of Xbox Live account compromises centering around FIFA 12. Today, Microsoft published a rundown of some of what they’ve been doing to help make the Xbox 360 more secure.

Today on the official Xbox Blogs, Xbox Live general manager Alex Garden talked about Microsoft’s efforts to make their console and its services more secure, and posted this rundown of what had been done since his last blog post earlier in the year:

    • We’ve increased notifications to members whose accounts may be compromised to add proofs, update their passwords, and, if necessary, contact Xbox support. This helps our team lock down an account quickly, investigate and restore the account to the rightful owner.
    • We’ve taken legal action to pull down online posts of gamertags, usernames and passwords gathered from malware or phishing schemes to help protect our members.
    • Our Xbox LIVE Spring update included many behind the scenes improvements that help us build on security enhancements for the near future.
    • We’re sending unique codes to the security phone numbers and secondary email addresses provided by members to verify authorization for Xbox.com purchases or account change attempts not stemming from a member’s trusted device.
    • We’re working to reduce market incentives for criminal activity. Engaging in identity theft, trading in stolen accounts and committing credit card fraud are illegal and violate our Terms of Use. Those involved in these activities risk criminal prosecution, account and console bans. That goes for both sellers and buyers of known stolen accounts and content.

At the same time, Garden brings up a point which is indeed good: Security ALSO relies on the people using Xbox Live, not just those running the service. Garden encourages all members of Xbox Live to do two things:

  • Check your security information, and update if necessary (click here)
  • Update your security proofs in case any of them were lost or stolen (click here)

In addition to taking those steps, Garden also encourages everyone to consider the password that they use for Xbox Live, and also consider updating it—especially if it’s a password that you use for another service.

(On a personal note, let me say this: You should never, EVER use the same password on more than one website or service. Ever.)

“The Internet has transformed the way we purchase goods and services and added layers of convenience to our lives,” Garden said to close our his blog posting. “Yet, disappointingly, online fraud increasingly victimizes millions of unsuspecting consumers each year. The organized groups of criminals involved do not care about the time or expense experienced by individuals they’ve attacked; or the billions in currency global companies and financial institutions absorb each year from their illegal activities. In the end, all of us pay a high price for online fraud.”

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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