Xbox Live security under scrutiny

Posted by Mark Raby

New concerns have risen about Xbox Live user security, but Microsoft says there's nothing to worry about.

There is a growing concern about hackers who are able to gain access to Xbox Live accounts, change the password, and essentially steal the account.

These hackers are gaining access to the accounts through Xbox.com, which has a robust platform that allows users to sign in with their Xbox 360 credentials and manage their entire gaming account from the Web browser.

The number of accounts that have been compromised has risen sharply in recent months. However, Microsoft is saying it's not at fault and that hacking is to be expected.

In a statement e-mailed to the website Metro.co.uk, Microsoft said there "is not a 'loophole' in Xbox.com. The hacking technique outlined is an example of brute force attacks and is an industry-wide issue. Microsoft can confirm that there has been no breach to the security of our Xbox Live service. The online safety of Xbox Live members remains of the utmost importance, which is why we consistently take measures to protect Xbox Live against ever-changing threats."

The company continued, "Security in the technology industry is an ongoing process, and with each new form of technology designed to deter attacks, the attackers try to find new ways to subvert it. We continue to evolve our security features and processes to ensure Xbox Live customers information is secure."

This is certainly not as big an issue as when Microsoft rival Sony faced massive security breaches with the PS3's online system, the Playstation Network. That forced users to remain offline for months and ended up costing Sony and its publishing partners several million dollars.

But it just shows that no one is immune to security problems. It seems Microsoft is not treating the growing number of Xbox Live account thefts with any serious concern.