Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hackers Use DIY Botnets To DDoS Xbox Gamers

In the past few weeks, we've noticed a steady increase in posts like this and this. Everywhere you look, people are suddenly curious as to how you "boot" someone from online videogames. They're not entering this rather famous joypad combination to do it - rather, they're dabbling in somewhat more sinister methods of tampering with the oft-called "closed" environment of XBox Live.

Namely - Botnets. In a big way too, from the looks of things. Or, as this advert lifted from a hacking website loudly proclaims:

What is XBox Live?

Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft Corporation. Pay for a Live account, and you can shoot other gamers online all day long on Halo 3, or maybe download some premium content such as movies, trailers etc.

Live has long been the subject of social engineers and hackers - fooling people into handing over their logins and making fake Points generators stuffed with Trojans and keyloggers to steal login info has been going on seemingly forever. There is another area of Live exploiting that's not been looked into much - that of "booting" other players from games via external means.

How is this done?

Well, typically someone will connect their XBox to their PC via a crossover cable (or via their wireless connection), join a multiplayer game then sniff the traffic (you can see a tiny example of that from the first screenshot at the top of the article). They might use this method to grab ip addresses (though it can be a little over complicated for the wannabe hacker), or they might resort to social engineering tactics away from the gaming environment. However they go about it, they need an ip address if they intend to boom, headshot their victim.

In this case, we have something rather interesting that's quickly becoming mainstream after spending a long time in the underground - combining custom made tools to create Botnet drones, specifically created to knock XBox Live gamers out of whatever game they happen to be playing at the time.

The bundle currently doing the rounds is pretty slick, and combines two tools distributed in a single AIO - it actually sits in the system tray (first icon on the left) until you feel like exploring it further.


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