Patch Management

Microsoft sews XBox privilege vulnerability

March 7, 2007

Microsoft has silently patched a privilege-escalation flaw in Xbox 360 that would have let users run operating systems and other programs on the popular gaming console.

The software giant fixed the vulnerability on Jan. 7, according to an anonymous security advisory recently posted on SecurityFocus. The bug can grant privileged access to a state known as hypervisory mode. Hypervisor is software that runs on a hardware machine and manages one or more operating systems.

According to the advisory, all games and applications on Xbox normally run in non-privileged mode.

Security experts wondered if this opens the door for more gaming console hacks.

"Can an internet-connected games console be an interesting addition to the available systems for a botnet?" SANS Internet Storm Center handler Arrigo Triulzi asked readers today on the organization’s blog. "Is it worth my while to develop a new engine and virus to go after the Xbox 360s? Probably not, there are still plenty of Windows systems which will do just fine."

Click here to email reporter Dan Kaplan.

prestitial ad