Xbox One: the first major console that could not be hacked

The piracy has been the order of the day in all major consoles that have used discs in the past nearly three decades you. All PlayStation have been hacked in one way or another through vulnerabilities, just like Microsoft’s Xbox. However, the Xbox One has been the only one that has not been able to be hacked in its entire useful life.

Currently, it is possible to hack PS4 if you have a model with old firmware, since there are vulnerabilities that allow you to run homebrew on the console. If you have a recent firmware, it is not possible to downgrade. On PS3, even if it had been updated, it was possible to downgrade, but it required modifications at the hardware level.

Microsoft learned from mistakes with Xbox 360 and made a console impossible to hack

However, Microsoft gradually learned from the mistakes of the past. With Xbox 360 they made a strong software, but they neglected the hardware, being that way where they managed to hack it through a chip, as well as run pirated games by hacking the optical reader. Everything learned has meant that Xbox One could not be hacked, avoiding being able to put pirated Blu-ray in the console .

For starters, we have that Xbox One can only run signed code when it is not in developer mode. This implies that only code that has been signed by Microsoft can be executed , preventing not only executing exploits, but hacks like aimbot and the like. This also prevents unsigned software updates from running, and cannot load custom firmwares.

Xbox games and apps also run in separate sandboxes , so no app or game can read or modify another’s data. So even if you managed to sneak a signed aimbot or hack into the Xbox store as an app, you couldn’t get it to run in another app’s code. Each element also runs in independent virtualization using Hyper-V, so even if you managed to hack into one virtual machine, you wouldn’t be able to access another.

All this would be of no use if an exploit could be found that would allow reading the content that is being processed in the console’s memory, being able to cause one app to overwrite data from another. Xbox uses the same kernel as Windows, where both systems are storing data in memory at random. Despite this, if memory were accessed, it would still be impossible to overwrite the data in RAM.

Developer mode: removing incentives to hack it

Although most users think that hacking a console is intended to run pirated games on it, in reality on many occasions what the community is looking for is being able to access the hardware to execute unsigned code. Thanks to this, it is possible to run emulators or other programs that allow you to take advantage of the power of the console.

This mode for developers was introduced with Xbox One, allowing for example to run UWP applications like Retroarch and run emulators and other types of apps. The price to unlock it is $ 19, much more convenient than having to invest entire days to try to hack it. It is even possible to run Kodi on Xbox without having to unlock the console, as it is available in the app store.

Thus, the incentives to hack Xbox One have been quite low, and no one has managed to find an exploit for the console. Or, at least, it hasn’t been published. To this we must add that all Xbox One games come out on PC, where most end up being pirated as well, eliminating the incentives for pirates.

Therefore, with the launch of Xbox Series X, it is confirmed that Xbox One has been the first console with discs that has not been pirated in its entire commercial life as the best console of a company since it was launched 7 years ago. This represents a new milestone for the future where piracy is eradicated from consoles, and Microsoft has put a great first stone on that path. At the moment, Sony has PS5 without being pirated, while Nintendo has not been able to avoid it on Switch.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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