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Microsoft’s Latest Victory Against Piracy

So, you wait in line for hours; shedding tears in expectation of Microsoft’s newest toy. You finally buy it, plug it in and… what? You wont be signing in to Xbox Live in the near future (at least, not in the same console). You’re a pirate, your console has been banned, and now, for the first time, your “backup” discs have been rendered useless.

Turns out, Xbox 360’s latest update; AP 2.5,  released in preparation of the recently launched Kinect peripheral, was in fact, a very effective tool against piracy. It seems the new update embeds some sort of “challenges” into a game disc (say, Fable III) for the console’s DVD drive to recognize. In the event you’re using pirate copies, those “challenges” will not produce an optimal response, which will ban you from signing on Xbox Live, and even if you try using your game offline, the console will show you a “dirty disc” warning, making it impossible to play pirate discs. It’s been reported, however, that genuine copies will keep working on your console, even if it has been flagged.

The beauty of this method rely on the fact that even if some hacker is able to override the AP 2.5 challenges on, say, Fable III; the process will be completely different in another game disc, given the multiple variables the new code offers. This could very well mean an end to the excessive presence of piracy in Microsoft‘s console.

Let the Banhammer start its almighty slaughter!

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  • John McMahon (VastManatee)

    Those sneaky bastards.

    When you write, “…even if some hacker is able to override the AP 2.5 challenges on, say, Fable III; the process will be completely different in another game disc” does that mean another Fable III disc or another game altogether?

  • Julian Montoya (DarthJuLiOh)

    That’s up to the developer. If Lionhead (or any other dev) wants, it could have different challenges on every Fable III disc released, though that would be highly unlikely.

    The different “challenges” have been reported in different games, such as Fable 3 and the first batch of first party Kinect titles.

  • Impressive and, if it works, good. I’m all for quality encryption that doesn’t affect valid users from using their purchase, and tries to stop those using the software illegally.

    I’m sure there will be a counter soon enough, but at least its an attempt.