Solutions Through IT

February 1, 2011

XBOX 360 & Kinect Warning: Get your tinfoil hat out (or not)

Filed under: Conspiracy, Kinect, Rants, XBox 360 — solutionsthroughit @ 13:36

Saw this statement on friendface today in reference to watching Foxtel on your XBox 360 – “I wouldn’t do it because the xbox records everything you do in front of it. It can also be hacked and reverse engineered so third parties can watch what you’re doing without you even knowing. Being microsoft it’s easily hacked into, one reason not to connect it to the internet as well.

There are some key concerns that I have with a statement like this. 

  1. You’re just not that interesting.

    An exploit like this will take a LOT of effort.  Many hours of work to get this done.  And for what result?  Watching some random people, sit on a couch, watch TV, drink a beverage and possibly scratch an inappropriate location?  Wow – if you’re a celebrity who people (for some unknown reason) demand to see silly shots like this, fine – I can see a potential reason for doing this.  If you’re Joe Schmoe, unlikely to be up to any shenanigans that are worthy (or even worthwhile) of watching, can’t see this happening.

  2. This is VERY unlikely.  Hacks these days require too much hands on.

    The XBox 360 can run unsigned code.  However, you need specific games, hacked DVD firmwares, chips or other pre-existing hacks to begin with.  If you’ve got an off the shelf Xbox, on Live, with all updates etc running.  This won’t [1] happen.  Have a read of some of the links in the first sentence.  Not going to happen without you noticing someone doing stuff on your XBox!

  3. Storage?  I don’t think so!

    Again, we’re in Australia.  Thanks to shoddy Telco’s and governments we’ve got 2nd world internet access.  Slow upload speeds.  This means that if the Kinect is going to “record everything” then all that video/still and audio data has to go somewhere.  That’s either uploaded to the ‘net or stored on your XBox and then uploaded to the ‘net.  If this was the case, they’d either not be getting quality data, or your ‘net connection is going to be unusable – although they could implement rate limiting on the send speed – why not, they’ve hacked an incredibly hard piece of hardware remotely, to spy on you, they can throw in some rate limiting functionality.

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