Geoff Keighley Says His Xbox Account Was “Hacked”

Geoff Keighley, videogame journo and host of Spike TV’s GTTV has had one of his Xbox 360 accounts hacked under what appears to be the same conditions as we’ve been reporting for a week or two now.

“Fun times,” he tweeted, “looks like one of my XBOX Live accounts was just hacked and someone had fun buying a lot of ‘GOLD JUMBO PACKS, today.”

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Sounds like the MO that has been widely reported on gaming forums for a while, but ignored by the majority of the press until The Sun mishandled the situation by inferring that those affected were the result of phishing attacks.

It’s becoming clearer that this isn’t the case.

Stephen Toulouse, Xbox LIVE Director of Policy and Enforcement replied to Geoff rather quickly. “Shoot me a mail with the tag,” he said. Geoff has since tweeted that his account will be locked for “25 days” whilst Microsoft investigate. This appears to be the minimum.

I too had my Xbox Live account hacked, although it was several months ago. Upon regaining control of it, after a very friendly chat with Xbox Support in Ireland and a lengthy wait, the only indication of the hack was that the last played game was FIFA 11. I have never owned FIFA 11 on 360.

I was lucky enough that I didn’t lose any money (my credit card was never linked to Xbox Live and I can’t be sure there were points on my account before the hack) but regaining access to my own Gamertag, and linking it back up to the correct email address, was a lengthy and frustrating process. I never shared any personal information with anyone and in my case Microsoft Support themselves repeatedly referred to the issue as a hack.

If there is any chance that this latest spate of suspicious FIFA-related account activity might be down to an external intrusion via some exploit other than user indiscretion, Microsoft absolutely needs to address it in a much more comprehensive manner than they have been so far.

Let’s hope this high profile case brings Microsoft to comment accordingly.

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43 Comments

  1. Now that a Journo has been hit, it’ll get some real momentum.

    • Which tells a lot about how Microsoft treat their “average” customers.

  2. So, *looks in direction of Microsoft* you were saying fellas? Fellas?

  3. Ireland? a Call Centre?….. How the hell?

    • Hey, Apple has their call centre in Ireland. And for most part like any UK based customer service department they aren’t very good :3.

      • And the Google HQ for Europe and Africa is here too.

      • Actually, Apples call centre is in England, but the head office is in Cork in Ireland. If agents from England need any help they have to ring through to Cork office. Either way it’s still not very good though :P lol

    • A lot of big companies actually have call centres in Ireland and Scotland, apparently quite a few studies suggest that people are more willing to trust those accents…

      • That is if you manage to understand them. ^^

      • Not really. The main reasion for Ireland is simple the magic 3 letters T A X and what is called “Double Irish”. What happend as rule that the business world wide is all Tax in Ireland, but excluding USA and Canada which is Tax in USA. The other advantage in Ireland they speak English.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_haven

  4. Still say the most likely reasoning is either down to people using the same passwords (and email addy) as their Live account on dodgy websites, or the previous scenario on ‘legit’ sites (such as the EA account thing which you need to access EA online in FIFA and their forums) and this has been hacked somehow.

    The only people can confirm that there’s no issue at their end are MS, and they have said so, so with multiple other ways for people to access ones Live account details outside of a direct MS server hacking fest, we really should accept their word in good faith until proven ‘guilty’ (for lack of a better word).

    Honestly, there’s been some real ‘its all MS’s fault!’ style undertones in these ‘reports’, which is a shame.

    • And to add, even if you use different passwords for each signup (and nearly every games company has their own signup for their titles now), most people only have one active email (which will be their Live login) and obviously things like name, D.O.B etc remain the same, so if these services were hacked then there’s enough information to get a password through a ‘i forgot my password’ process anyway

    • I doubt someone like Geoff Keighley would make the ‘beginner’ mistakes Microsoft are implying are the cause of this, though.

      That this is apparently happening to so many people around the same time would seem to suggest a hack. If these details were obtained through phishing or brute force attacks, the accessing of accounts would be more spread out over time.

      With Microsoft steadfastly denying a hack, you have to wonder if they’re either covering something up, or they simply haven’t detected what’s happening. If either of those is the case, I’m not sure which is more worrying.

  5. I just find it so weird…. and surprised that nothing as been done? as there even been progress? I actually bought something from EAs store in-game for Fifa 12 and it didn’t work, “I thought well weird.. how ironic Xbox’s got hacked” So simply it was just a typical Electronic Con Arts fuck up from EA, really I’ve suddenly realized that with EAs infamy with servers and there choices that make us so..so..so..so negative to them in the past, it isn’t a surprise that there whole account system is flawed to me, my experience is just bad…. so now in case anythings happened I’d just remove every console, platform or maybe I hope delete details since I just can’t trust them anymore.

    • i just bought the silver pack for 25p on psn so i don’t see how it’s ea fault. i think Microsoft should pay this thing more attention than it’s getting, i don’t want to turn this into a big debate but once Sony learnt that their server was compromised they took it completely offline without knowing what exactly happened.

      here we have Microsoft knowing exactly what happened, customers credit cards are being used and people are losing money yet they still insist it’s your fault. I’m glad i never used my credit card to renew my live account. and how coincidental that they allow you to delete your credit card details just a matter of days ago before it was a complete nightmare to delete it.

  6. the reason why I’m not taking Microsoft word is because the same would be happening to ps3 gamers if this was a simple phishing scam. after all the ps3 and ea accounts are all linked up in the same way as the Xbox.

    • Exactly my thinking.
      Although if this does come out as an actual hack, Microsoft have to know they will be crucified over it- at least nobody lost money with the PSN, because Sony pulled the plug.
      Microsoft appear to be burying their head in the sand, unless it really is phising.
      I don’t know which it is, although I’m inclined to think it’s NOT phising, as it’s not happening on PC or PS3.
      I hope everyone has deleted their credit card info if they had it saved on Live at this point.

      • The uproar that it took 3 days for sony to recogise the psn breach and shut it down was massive, if it turns out that Microsoft has been sitting on this then the internet will go crazy. I’d much rather have them take down live for a couple of days to sort this out than risk it, maybe they could just shut it down for fifa?

      • Just what I was thinking, next to Microsoft’s reaction to this Sony’s behaviour over their hack was exemplary. In saying this I am assuming that this is an actual hack.

      • I mean, assuming that there is actually a problem with the Live service, maybe it’s not a simple fix. Sony was willing to take down their entire network infrastructure to protect people while they fixed their problems, but the Live system runs throughout the entire MS ecosystem. Plus, it sometimes seems like the profits that MS makes through Xbox Live is the only reason the gaming division stays afloat.

        I’m not making excuses for them, especially since it’s probably not the case, just trying to figure out why MS would even hide something like this if it was in fact going on.

      • because that’s the way ms operate Uhyve.
        if there are any problems with any ms product, their first response is almost always to blame the users.

  7. I hope it is a hack…. I want more free stuff :D

    • I hope its just a mere phishing attack, because if it’s a real hacking attack it would be a disaster for Live users.

      • Really would, It would be a disaster for MS after handling it so badly too, Sony did so much better in just cutting it off…

  8. I don’t know what’s worse… the fact that they’re saying it’s just phising, or that they haven’t even realised they’ve been hacked…
    Eitherway, I hope they do something, rather than just sitting on it and squashing rumours.

  9. This is nightmare scenario for Microsoft. We are now in the most important stage of the year with anything in retal. Sony was rather lucky that it was in April and something like this didn’t happen during *-ber months (September/October/November/December). The last 4 months of year do really matter a lot.

    Other big problem in the UK is “The Sun” taking this on. Microsoft has public said they where wrong in there story. If dont know much about News Corp business you should at least know they do not take kindly to being told they are wrong. If it turns out there where correct then watch as they attack Microsoft like some sort of past time, if anything it would keep News of the World issues out of the press.

    If you belive you have been hack then use law to your advatage. If your are located within Europe then demand a copy of all data they have about you the law is called Directive 95/46/EG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Directive. You can do this as it located in Ireland. They have to give you EVERYTHING they have on you. If have any problem then get touch with http://dataprotection.ie/

  10. I can’t help but think that if this was happening on the PS3 people, and the gaming press, would be crucifying Sony round about now. Obviously there’s something strange going on but Microsoft are in denial and no one seems to care all that much.
    When the PSN was compromised Sony shut it down completely when they realised there was foul play afoot, I’ll give them that.

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