Xbox Live upgrades security

General manager explains new verifications and checks to protect gamers

Microsoft has taken a number steps to increase security of its Xbox Live service, including better communication with users and better verification for potentially fraudulent activity.

"The internet has transformed the way we purchase goods and services and added layers of convenience to our lives. Yet, disappointingly, online fraud increasingly victimises millions of unsuspecting consumers each year," said Xbox Live GM Alex Garden on his official blog.

"That is why our resolve at Microsoft to battle fraud and our commitment to account security is stronger than ever. I hope you'll take a few moments to protect your account today."

He added that he had received a mass of emails from the service's users, and this had "reinforced our belief that Xbox Live is not simply an online service but a community built upon the trust and investment of its members."

The changes are listed in full below, and seem to be an attempt to combat some of the issues highlighted by sites like Hacked On Xbox.

  • 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 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.

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Latest comments (2)

Rod Oracheski Editor, Star News5 years ago
Most of the issues people have had seem solvable by using fairly basic online protection - not reusing passwords, not sharing accounts, things like that. I really hope there's a balance struck between locking everything down and ease of customer use. I'd hate to have to enter an authenticator code every time I want to do anything, just because people refuse to stop using '12345' as their password, so they get "hacked" every three weeks.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 5 years ago
Well I now can't use the Xbox Live website unless I verify my machine now. And because it's already been verified it will take 30 days to remove the existing machine and add another. Had to make three calls to Xbox Live help desk three times yesterday to resolve some issues.

I hope they have enough phone support to handle the multitudes of new calls they will get.

I format my machine every few months, this is going to be annoying if there is a 30 day delay between formats.
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