Hackers recently took Microsoft for $1.2 million by stealing Microsoft Points used in the company's Xbox Live Marketplace.
Microsoft Points are the basic currency of the Xbox Live Marketplace, used in several games and to buy music from the Zune Marketplace. Game blogs such Joystiq and Save and Quit have reported that the problem is in the codes used on the gift cards used to add points to users' Xbox Live accounts. The codes are supposed to look random, but the hackers figured out the algorithm used to generate the strings of numbers. Each of the hacked codes accrued 160 points.
The hack itself is posted on The Tech Game web site. All a user had to do is access the site (the one in the instructions) and refresh it, and a new code would appear. Some of the codes have stopped working, and Microsoft reportedly solved the problem.
Points are usually purchased in blocks of at least 400 in the U.S. (other countries have slightly different minima, such as 500 in the U.K.). The price is 80 points per each U.S. dollar, so the 400 points is $5. A hacker who added points to his account would get them for free, so even 160-point increments can add up if the hack is performed repeatedly by thousands of people.
Microsoft did not return a call for comment.
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