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Xbox Live is now a little safer

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Earlier this year, there was a fair bit of speculation as to whether or not Microsoft’s Xbox Live service has been hacked; there’s been a maelstrom of reports that Xbox FIFA players have been scammed – either through Live, or an exploit in the games. Microsoft’s maintained that it’s the result of phishing or brute force attacks. Neither Microsoft or EA has owned up to any security flaws – but that’s not stopped EA from increasing security. Microsoft’s now done the same.

Xbox LIVE General Manager Alex Garden says Microsoft has "worked hard these last several months" to make Xbox Live a more secure environment. Here are the changes that have been made, according to Gardener.

  • 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

Garden suggests users take a couple of minutes out of their day, log in to Xbox Live,and review their security information. He also recommends that you change your passwords as a precaution – especially if it happens to be “password” or “12345,” which he says are still the most commonly used passwords online.

Honestly though; if those are the sort of passwords you use, you probably deserve for your identity to be stolen.

Last Updated: July 19, 2012

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