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Xbox Live Account Hacked Thread and Guide


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#1 MrPiggles

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 03:26 AM

I'm thinking, now with all these XBL Account hackings going on, a good guide on what to do if your Xbox Live Account does get hacked would be a good idea. This is a wiki thread so feel free to add/change anything.

1. How to tell if my account has been compromised?
- If you have your credit card or Paypal linked to your Xbox account and you recieve a bunch of emails from Microsoft thanking you for purchasing Microsoft Points
- If you notice your Microsoft Points balance has been drained out and you go to billing.microsoft.com and see that they have been used on things you have not purchased, typically FIFA DLC
- A large amount of Microsoft Points were purchased using your credit card of Paypal
- You go to live.xbox.com/en-US/Profile/Protection and notice that you have been signed into consoles you do not remember
- You notice achievements for games you've never played, typically FIFA games
- Your gamertag, friends list, or profile has been changed
- If you have difficulty logging into your account

2. What to do after your account has been compromised?
- Do not download any of the content the hacker purchased to your Xbox
- Remove any payment info you have linked to your XBL account here: live.xbox.com/en-US/ManagePaymentOptions (Tip: To turn off auto-renewal without calling phone support, set your state to Illinois)
- Change your password and security question to something completely different then what you had before here: account.live.com
- Go to Xbox 360 Profile Protection and sign out of all your consoles here: live.xbox.com/en-US/Profile/Protection
- Call Xbox Phone Support (their twitter, chat, and email support can't help) and tell them your account has been compromised (and if you have any other subscriptions, like COD ELITE, mention it), you can find their number here: support.xbox.com/en-US/contact-us Make sure you have your Windows Live ID and our Console ID and serial number readily available (found in your console settings)
- Contact Paypal and/or your credit card company and have them refund any charges
- For more info on what to do, visit here: xbox.com/en-US/Live/Account-Security/What-To-Do

3. What now?
- You won't be able to sign into any Xbox 360 on the compromised account for the extent of the investigation. You can still play offline on your account, but you'll lose any offline achievements on your account following the investigation, since you'll have to re-download your profile.
- It'll take them at least 15 days, typically 25 days, and possibly more depending on the complexity of your issue (whether it was hacked from a different country, whether your content licenses were migrated, etc.)
- In a couple of days, they'll email you a 1-month XBL Gold code to make up for lost time. You can use this on your existing account or make a new XBL account
- During the investigation period, you can call Xbox Support to check up on it (nagging them might help speed up the investigation)
- Once your investigation has been resolved, they'll call you. You'll usually be refunded any money charged and any Microsoft Points the hacker used within the next 1-2 payment days
- Microsoft usually doesn't remove any content the hackers purchase, so you'll get to keep that at least.
- Microsoft is also unable to remove any achievements related to your hacking.
- If you had a lot of personal info stored on your Windows Live ID, consider buying Identity Protection services
- If after 25 days your investigation still has not been resolved, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau here: bbb.org This may help speed up the investigation; if you do file a report, make sure to mention it the next time you call Xbox Support

4. How to protect your account?
- Make sure your password for your Xbox account is unique (not used on any other sites) and is at least 8 characters, and contain upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and non-alphanumerical characters, and within the password, you have at least one word
- Don't login using your Windows Live ID on public computers and networks
- Beware of phishing emails and sites
- Don't link your Paypal or credit card to your XBL account (if you want to pay with them, briefly link them to your XBL account, buy whatever you need, and unlink them) and DEFINITELY do not pay with debit cards since they're harder to dispute charges
- Buy prepaid Microsoft Points instead, and only activate them right before you're about to spend them, so hackers can't steal anything
- Enable automatic HTTPS for your live account here: account.live.com/ManageSSL
- Make sure your computer is virus free, if you don't an antivirus, these are some good free alternatives (only install 1): avast!, Avira, AVG, or Microsoft Security Essentials
- Xbox has a pretty thorough checklist here: xbox.com/en-US/Live/Account-Security/Security-Checklist

A few last notes: Most XBL accounts are hacked for buying FIFA DLC which can traded and therefore sold for cash. Most account compromises come from either social engineering, or really lucky brute-forcing. And a little terminology thing, your XBL account isn't "hacked", which is someone using loopholes in the network infrastructure to gain access to individual XBL accounts. At this point, this seems highly unlikely. However, there are still many unknowns to the current XBL "hacking" situation.
The PSN outage in spring was due to a hack. Your PSN account may have been compromised by a outside intruder. Sony shut down PSN for months in order to protect any further intrusion. For more information about different kinds of Xbox Account Theft, visit here: xbox.com/en-US/Live/Account-Security/Stolen-Account

Update: Eurogamer and Analoghype have some pretty good explanations for the account hackings. Looks like because of a design flaw on the Xbox website, it can be easily bruteforced and combined with social engineering to harvest potential Window Live ID email addresses, that's how the hackings are going down.

Edited by MrPiggles, 08 April 2012 - 11:56 PM.


#2 SaraAB

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 04:22 AM

Very good job on this much-needed faq.

I would like to add if you only purchase prepaid cards, and only activate them on your account when you plan to spend most of them you will probably be safe. Especially if you don't have credit card or paypal information linked to your account. If you just keep a couple hundred points in your account at any time you will probably be safe, a hacker isn't gonna bother to go after someone for 200 points, they want someone who has a large balance like 6000 points.

I have had my accounts hacked in several places so I do not recommend linking your credit card to any gaming or service account like iTunes, PSN, Nintendo or Xbox live. They will all be hacked eventually by someone and this can really save your butt, by not linking a credit card to my accounts I know I have saved my butt a few times. You can get prepaid cards for all these services pretty much anywhere and usually cards can be found at a discount so I see no issues with not using your credit card on these types of accounts.

#3 MrPiggles

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 04:30 AM

Very good job on this much-needed faq.

I would like to add if you only purchase prepaid cards, and only activate them on your account when you plan to spend most of them you will probably be safe. Especially if you don't have credit card or paypal information linked to your account. If you just keep a couple hundred points in your account at any time you will probably be safe, a hacker isn't gonna bother to go after someone for 200 points, they want someone who has a large balance like 6000 points.

I have had my accounts hacked in several places so I do not recommend linking your credit card to any gaming or service account like iTunes, PSN, Nintendo or Xbox live. They will all be hacked eventually by someone and this can really save your butt, by not linking a credit card to my accounts I know I have saved my butt a few times. You can get prepaid cards for all these services pretty much anywhere and usually cards can be found at a discount so I see no issues with not using your credit card on these types of accounts.


Thanks, added

#4 MrPiggles

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 05:24 AM

Thread now stickied

#5 dmaul1114

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 11:16 PM

Having a credit card linked isn't a huge hassle as it's easy enough to dispute charges and not have to pay anything. I'll remove mine from my Live account when I get it back as I don't buy all that much stuff anyway. But I like the convenience of having it stored in other places like iTunes etc.

I thankfully didn't get any CC charges from this hacking, just 1200 points spent and my account migrated to Russia (which is why it's taking ages--reported it on October 25th).

However, the bigger key is to NOT use a debit card (i.e. Visa check card), Paypal etc. as if you get hacked and money is charged to those then it's physically gone from your checking account and you have to wait to be refunded--rather than just disputing a credit card charge.

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#6 MrPiggles

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 06:19 AM

Having a credit card linked isn't a huge hassle as it's easy enough to dispute charges and not have to pay anything. I'll remove mine from my Live account when I get it back as I don't buy all that much stuff anyway. But I like the convenience of having it stored in other places like iTunes etc.

I thankfully didn't get any CC charges from this hacking, just 1200 points spent and my account migrated to Russia (which is why it's taking ages--reported it on October 25th).

However, the bigger key is to NOT use a debit card (i.e. Visa check card), Paypal etc. as if you get hacked and money is charged to those then it's physically gone from your checking account and you have to wait to be refunded--rather than just disputing a credit card charge.


Thanks, I'll make mention of the debt card part in the main thread

#7 Dark Rider

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 10:04 PM

Great thread. Glad to see this got stickied. I can only hope this helps less CAGs to get hacked.

#8 MrPiggles

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 03:38 AM

Great thread. Glad to see this got stickied. I can only hope this helps less CAGs to get hacked.


Me too

#9 SaraAB

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:20 PM

Actually its not necessarily related to FIFA as this article indicates. There seems to be a few separate things going on here, yes the FIFA hacks are part of it but another part of it is that accounts are being sold on 3rd party foreign websites with points already on them.

http://kotaku.com/58...alises?tag=xbox

So a big warning here would be to NOT link your paypal account to your Xbox Live account or use it to purchase points in any way. This could be a huge problem as I think they can get your bank account information if they have your paypal account, which is a lot worse than someone just stealing your credit card information.

I never imagined just paying for stuff on online service sites could potentially cause all these problems...

Another thing that should be added is that the person has not done anything wrong by adding their credit card or paypal accounts to their xbox live accounts, its really not the users faults even if they have insecure passwords Microsoft should really be preventing this type of hacking from occuring since its such a huge problem now.

#10 Curufinwe

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:39 PM

Great thread, but I don't think is a good indicator of being hacked because MS seems to count using a PC to play a GFWL game or just logging on to Xbox.com as visiting another console.

- You go to live.xbox.com/en-US/Profile/Protection and notice that you have been signed into consoles you do not remember

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#11 MrPiggles

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 01:01 AM

Great thread, but I don't think is a good indicator of being hacked because MS seems to count using a PC to play a GFWL game or just logging on to Xbox.com as visiting another console.

- You go to live.xbox.com/en-US/Profile/Protection and notice that you have been signed into consoles you do not remember


I'm pretty sure the profile tool only affects consoles, since it only mentions it'll sign you out of consoles in the description, and I play GFWL games on my PC too and sign into xbox.com frequently and it only shows that I'm signed into one console, my Xbox 360.


Actually its not necessarily related to FIFA as this article indicates. There seems to be a few separate things going on here, yes the FIFA hacks are part of it but another part of it is that accounts are being sold on 3rd party foreign websites with points already on them.

http://kotaku.com/58...alises?tag=xbox

So a big warning here would be to NOT link your paypal account to your Xbox Live account or use it to purchase points in any way. This could be a huge problem as I think they can get your bank account information if they have your paypal account, which is a lot worse than someone just stealing your credit card information.

I never imagined just paying for stuff on online service sites could potentially cause all these problems...

Another thing that should be added is that the person has not done anything wrong by adding their credit card or paypal accounts to their xbox live accounts, its really not the users faults even if they have insecure passwords Microsoft should really be preventing this type of hacking from occuring since its such a huge problem now.


That information is irrelevant, since I'm only talking about how to protect your account in the thread, not whether's its right or wrong to add CC info, and the overwhelming majority of hacks are FIFA related, and the reason behind the hacks isn't really that relevant either.

#12 not2worried

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:33 PM

Here is an article from IGN...
http://xbox360.ign.c.../1215973p1.html

#13 LondonGaijin

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:45 PM

More and more details emerging on the way people are being hijacked:
http://www.analoghyp...ored-the-truth/

Also Trading:
>>>

Spoiler
<<<

#14 Mega Man

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:55 PM

More and more details emerging on the way people are being hijacked:
http://www.analoghyp...ored-the-truth/

That makes more sense than the FIFA hack tbh

#15 kill3r7

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:03 PM

More and more details emerging on the way people are being hijacked:
http://www.analoghyp...ored-the-truth/


If this is true, this is really scary. I'm not sure what M$ can do about it. Hopefully this issue gets resolved soon.

#16 dmaul1114

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:14 PM

One thing they could do is close that loophole of being able to keep trying with wrong passwords.

Make it so after 5 or 8 failed attempts the account gets locked and the user has to do something to reset the password. Be it going through a bunch of secret questions, entering a text message code they get sent to their phone, calling into MS customer support etc.

Bank sites etc. tend to do that kind of thing. No reason Windows Live can't. Still not foolproof. But at least more security than currently.

One lesson I guess is to be careful about keeping your e-mail address private. That's one thing that could have got me as I use my hotmail e-mail address for tons of different sites as it's where I get all my order confirmation, facebook notifications etc. sent. I use different passwords on different sites, but mostly use that same e-mail. So my hacker definitely could have gotten my e-mail from various places and brute forced the password.

When I get my account back, I'll make a new Windows Live ID and use it for nothing but my xbox live account. I'll also be sure to never log in to Xbox.com as there's some speculation that Windows Live IDs may have been capture through a security flaw on that site.

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#17 Ryuukishi

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 09:27 PM

Great thread. Decided to be proactive and call to get my CC information removed from my account; I'm already paid up for Gold until 2013 anyway. The rep had to bump me down to a free account, and then issue me a bunch of codes for 19 months of Gold to get me back to where I was. :lol:

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#18 shrike4242

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:38 PM

More and more details emerging on the way people are being hijacked:
http://www.analoghyp...ored-the-truth/

That's more than a little scary. Glad I only play online via XBL very seldomly.

Great thread. Decided to be proactive and call to get my CC information removed from my account; I'm already paid up for Gold until 2013 anyway. The rep had to bump me down to a free account, and then issue me a bunch of codes for 19 months of Gold to get me back to where I was. :lol:

That's what I had to do when I had to remove an expired card from my account a couple of years ago. I have Gold paid up until 2014, always use XBL cards for Live and always use XBLM points cards to add points to my account. Never see a reason to have a CC on my account, and now, it seems like an even better idea now.

#19 phantomfriar2002

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:17 AM

Just logged in and saw my 5000 points balance was down to 20 and all kinds of shit had been downloaded from my account. :(

I haven't called yet but changed the password and ran the Profile Protection. Really don't want to be offline for a month. This blows.

#20 MrPiggles

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:53 AM

Just logged in and saw my 5000 points balance was down to 20 and all kinds of shit had been downloaded from my account. :(

I haven't called yet but changed the password and ran the Profile Protection. Really don't want to be offline for a month. This blows.


Don't worry, they'll email you a new 1-month XBL Gold Code in a couple of days after you call them, and you'll get your MSP back.

#21 LinkinPrime

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 05:27 AM

Thank you so much MrPiggles :applause:

#22 utopianmachine

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 05:58 AM

My account was hacked yesterday. Figured it out today, saw about $50ish in Xbox points were gone. Pending investigation now. It was the FIFA hack. Last game played was FIFA, and all the content bought was FIFA. :cry::cry::cry::cry:

#23 Mega Man

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:08 AM

And you have no EA games played on your account its obviously something more than just having an EA account at this point but MS won't say or do anything.

#24 utopianmachine

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:11 PM

I'm a fan of this explanation.

http://www.analoghyp...ored-the-truth/

I use the Xbox.com login frequently to mess with my avatar and download demos. I had just entered $40 in MSP the day before I was hacked. I find that very interesting. I feel like once I did that I made myself more, say, easy-on-the-eyes to a hacker.

#25 chubbyninja1319

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:25 PM

Thanks form the great thread, op. I'm trying to safeguard as much as possible. Question though, what about those XBLA apps for smartphones? They could create added exposure right?
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#26 MrPiggles

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:30 PM

Thanks form the great thread, op. I'm trying to safeguard as much as possible. Question though, what about those XBLA apps for smartphones? They could create added exposure right?


They could, but I doubt any hackers would be using one of those as their "hack source" so you should be alright using those.

#27 phantomfriar2002

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 04:56 PM

My account was hacked yesterday. Figured it out today, saw about $50ish in Xbox points were gone. Pending investigation now. It was the FIFA hack. Last game played was FIFA, and all the content bought was FIFA. :cry::cry::cry::cry:


The content purchased on my account was all over the place -- a Queen song from Rock Band, NBA JAM ON FIRE EDITION, several other Live games...nothing from FIFA.

Either way I don't care how long it takes as long as my MS points get restored.

#28 dmaul1114

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 05:05 PM

Rift (IIRC) was the only thing purchased on mine. But I didn't have a lot of points on their and was at home when the migration e-mail popped up so I got it locked down right away.

#29 MrPiggles

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 05:07 PM

The content purchased on my account was all over the place -- a Queen song from Rock Band, NBA JAM ON FIRE EDITION, several other Live games...nothing from FIFA.

Either way I don't care how long it takes as long as my MS points get restored.


Well, if that's the case, you may have gotten a little lucky since Xbox Live never removes content that the hacker purchases from your account if it gets hacked, and they still refund the MSP, so after the investigation, you'll get a couple of games and songs for free at least.

Update: And here's an Eurogamer article that helps explain how the hackings are probably going down: http://www.eurogamer...x-live-accounts

Edited by MrPiggles, 14 January 2012 - 05:25 PM.


#30 dennisb407

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 03:29 AM

I thought my account was hacked but I actually did buy the DLC for Naughty Bear awhile back lol