A Look Back At The Xbox 360’s Hard Drive Security

A Look Back At The Xbox 360’s Hard Drive Security

Any individual who’s owned a match console from the final pair of generations will notify you that the equipment are  turning out to be ever more like set-best computers  —  geared up with USB ports, Bluetooth, removable hard drives, and their possess online application repositories. But even though this overlap theoretically features sizeable added benefits, such as the skill to use your very own USB controller fairly than being caught with the system’s default, the manufacturers haven’t often been so accommodating.

Just take for case in point the removable hard travel of the Xbox 360. It was a lavatory standard 2.5″ SATA drive within a fancy enclosure, but as stated by [Eaton], Microsoft went to considerable lengths to protect against the person from upgrading it by themselves. Which wouldn’t have been these kinds of a massive deal, if the Redmond huge wasn’t placing a large markup on the issues even in 2005, $99 USD for 20 GBs was freeway robbery.

An Xbox 360 Difficult Travel

So how did the travel lockout function? Genuine Xbox drives had an RSA-signed “security sector” at sector 16, which contained data like the drive’s serial number, firmware revision, and design quantity. The RSA signature would avert tampering with the fields saved in the security sector, and you could not just copy this sector about to a blank generate, because when the console in contrast the knowledge with what the drive self-noted, it would not match.

Of training course, industrious hackers did finally determine out some workarounds. A DOS software termed HDDHackr was produced which would permit you plug in no matter what pinpointing details you needed into drives from Western Electronic. All one particular experienced to do was seize a duplicate of a stability sector from the seedier components of the Net, spoof the values it contained to the travel with HDDHackr, and you were being golden. There is explanation to imagine Microsoft could detect this — hundreds or hundreds of Xbox consoles phoning into the mothership with equivalent travel serial figures was absolutely a pink flag — but apparently no action was at any time taken to end it.

Later on on, after it was possible to modify the console’s firmware with JTAG obtain, the RSA test on the protection sector was patched out, in essence letting you to use whatever push you required. But this is where by Microsoft apparently drew the line, as modifying your console in this way meant you could no for a longer period indication on to Xbox Reside.

Modifying the security sector knowledge will allow you to spoof drive details.

As an appealing facet outcome of remaining capable to modify the security sector, [Eton] notes it’s probable to switch the Microsoft symbol with what ever impression you want, which will clearly show up on the console when you verify the drive’s capacity. Why have a emblem stored on the drive at all? He theorizes Microsoft may have planned to allow 3rd-occasion organizations deliver drives, in which case you’d have viewed their emblem instead. It is only conjecture though, since in the stop, Microsoft was the only business to deliver drives for the 360.

These times, Sony lets you put in your have M.2 SSD in the PS5, and even the historically tech-adverse Nintendo will allow you shop your video games on generic SD cards. The problem has not transformed significantly for Microsoft nevertheless, as their hottest Sequence X console uses custom made NVMe-centered storage equipment that only Seagate would make. That mentioned, they’ve adopted a significantly far more enlightened technique toward allowing the user run their have computer software on the console, which is definitely a action in the proper path.