Student cracks Xbox without a mod chip
For the first time, the student Andrew Huang has succeeded in revealing the security mechanism used to protect Xbox software from illegally copied software. However, he did not use a mod chip, as it has been available on the Internet in a few weeks.
Up to now, all software has always had to be signed with a 128-bit Microsoft key, using an RC4 algorithm. If the software does not have a valid key, the Xbox will reject it and not run it. Huang cracked the encryption system back in February, but his work, now published at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), describes how a previously secret boot block decrypts the data and checks it for changes using an external flash ROM. Huang intercepted and saved this data with normal hardware on the way to the CPU. He also has tips for Microsoft on how to increase the security of the Xbox, but this involves changes to the hardware. Thus, a new security mechanism could only be used on newer consoles, old consoles remain unsecured.