Virus' on Xbox? Could be a serious possibility.

AndyVX

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 2, 2000
Messages
804
I was thinking last night about when it comes time to take my Xbox online, and how at risk I would be at getting a virus. On the DC, PS2, and soon Gamecube there is no hard storage, so once you power down any virus that may have been able to get into ram would be wiped out. But on the Xbox, a virus could be stored onto the hard drive.
I'm sure that all these kiddy hackers out there will desperatly be trying to screw up people's Xbox's. So I'm wondering what kind of virus protection there will be for the Xbox? Anyone know?
I would just so much hate to get a virus(loose all my saves) and have to send my system off to Microsoft for them to clean it.
Well, if anyone has any info regarding this, please let me know. Also, if this had been posted earlier I'm very sorry...I forgot to do a search.
Andrew
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ICQ# - 119869807
 

Tom_J

Agent
Joined
Oct 23, 2000
Messages
26
I would think the OS is in ROM. This prevents any altering of the OS files(Unless ROM is flashed). The only things on the hd would be saved games or music right? In order for a virus to do it's thing, it has to execute right? If you don't run the virus, I wouldn't think the files are in danger, even if it's saved on the hd. And if the OS is only loading from ROM, I wouldn't think it would execute a virus on the hd.
Plus, is there a browser built in the XBox? I don't own one yet, so I don't know. If you can't get to the net to dl stuff, you shouldn't be at risk of getting a virus.
The game loads/runs straight from the CD/DVD(no installation files), the OS is ROM, so I don't see any system critical files being in jeapordy. All vital files sound like they're read-only. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
[Edited last by Tom_J on November 17, 2001 at 11:57 AM]
[Edited last by Tom_J on November 17, 2001 at 12:03 PM]
 

James Nguyen

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
295
http://www.xbox365.com/stories/xdkcomplete.shtml
The Xbox game image format is not compatible with other executable systems, such as Windows 2000 executable format. The Xbox game image must be loaded by the Xbox system software application, loading utilities directly into RAM in 64-megabyte (MB) blocks. Unlike standard Windows 2000 applications, there are no dynamic-link library (DLL) loads, no fixups, and so on.
A virus for the XBox would have multiple challenges.. first the virus writer would have to know what the binary format has to look like. Even though the system kernel is based on win2k, simply copying over a win2k executable isn't going to make it run on the Xbox.
second, many of the viruses out there these days all depend on the user actively executing a system script, typically written in VBScript. These scripts have access to the full file system since there's legit reasons why admins would write these things. However, on the xbox side of things two things get in the way, a) there not being support for any form of OS scripts and b) there not being any interface on the xbox dashboard for the user to execute these scripts anyhow
third, there's currently no known way for the Xbox HD to house an executable anyhow. all descriptions of what would go onto the HD have always described "data" going onto the HD for storage...i.e. game saves, music, downloaded new tracks or teams for a game, etc. Again, the dashboard doesn't support anyway to activate an executable on the HD anyhow even if one were to get on there (that I know of). The boot sequence can't be altered to include that executable since the OS resides in ROM. So if a user can't do the equivalent of double clicking a virus exe on the HD then the threat is pretty much mitigated.
Now, this is all conjecture of course and we'll have to see how it plays out. Strictly speaking, any computer can be targets for viruses....including all video game consoles since in the end, they're just highly specialized computers. PS2 would have the same threat given that it too will soon have a HD
 

Tony_I

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 6, 2001
Messages
77
It would be more of a problem on the PS/2 then on an Xbox.
The PS/2 will be able to go online, web browse, read email..etc. Even AOL..
Ironically, Microsoft's Xbox will NOT be able to do these things. You will most likely only be able to access online play through the actual game that you are playing, and on the other side of the net, MS will be running the servers..
So, to attack the Xbox, looks like you're going to have to hack MS secured servers dedicated to Xbox's online gaming.. (when they launch in Spring)
Goodluck..
 

AndyVX

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 2, 2000
Messages
804
Thanks all for the reassurance! I didn't realize that the OS was on ROM.
I guess we're safe then. I'm glad MS took the steps to make the Xbox as safe from virus' as possible.
Andrew
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ICQ# - 119869807
 

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