Is your Xbox Live account safe?
I've filed a story over at MTVNews.com investigating security concerns raised with Xbox Live following my discovery that "Halo 3" multiplayer producer Joe Tung had his account compromise by a hacker.
Tung isn't the first person to lose control of his account.
Hackers have been taking advantage of a popularized technique called social engineering, where an individual (in this case, Microsoft customer service reps) is coerced into releasing otherwise private information. Social engineering isn't a new concept, but it's been a regular problem for Microsoft.
I contacted an avid "Halo" player and expert on the subject of social engineering to explain why this is such a dangerous technique and what steps you can take to prevent your account from being compromised.
And what did Bungie have to say about what happened to Tung? From my story:
Bungie would only tell MTV News that an outside party accessed Tung's account. "We can confirm that Joe's account was compromised," Bungie Studios writer Luke Smith said. "Representatives from Microsoft aided Joe in swiftly resolving the issue."
As for the implications of the compromise: "No comment," Smith said.
Read the rest of my story, which includes tips on protecting XBL accounts, over at MVNews.com: Reports Of Hacked Xbox Live Accounts Stir Concerns Over Gamers' Security