Realising that gamers don't always act maturely when it comes to losing, hackers have began offering a 'service' to drop players from Xbox Live.
They target the victim's IP and flood their connection with volumes of data, the gamer gets dropped and the hacker collects a fee. These flooding tools have been increasing in use.
It works in the similar vein a denial of service (DOS) attack does against a website, clogging it full of incoming data so that hardly any can be outbound. Microsoft are "investigating" the situation but it will prove difficult as it doesn't attack the Xbox Live network itself.
In some cases a users Xbox 360 console hosts online matches with the Live network merely acting as a conduit to connect others to that machine. Anyone caught using these tools faces a ban from Live warns Microsoft.
"There's been a definite increase in the amount of people talking about and distributing these things over the last three to four weeks," said Chris Boyd, director of malware research at Facetime Communications.
"The smart thing about these Xbox tools is that they do not attack the Xbox Live network itself," he said. Over 17 million gamers are signed up with Live claims the corporate giant.
Hackers apparently have been offering this service for around $20, and will even setup the booter tool remotely for their 'customer' to trigger when they want.
"They get your IP address, put it in the booter tool and they attempt to flood the port that uses Xbox traffic," said Mr Boyd. "Flooding that port prevents any traffic getting out."
There's very little Microsoft or the individual can do to prevent these attacks. "We are investigating reports involving the use of malicious software tools that an attacker could use to try and disrupt an Xbox LIVE player's internet connection," responds Microsoft.
Have you ever suffered a 'mysterious drop' from Xbox Live after roasting a multiplayer match with your leetness?
Xbox Live is target for hackers providing illegal 'booting' service
20 February 2009 | By Simon Priest