This morning, XBoxLive users woke up to a rude awakening. They couldn’t purchase anything on the XBoxLive store. And this stirred up another nerd battle for console supremacy, now that both XBox and PS3 owners both couldn’t currently make online purchases. Now, it might be L.A. Noire’s release that got my investigative juices flowing, but Sony was on its 3rd hacking problem (two consecutively on PSN and one with their internet television services) and I thought that no one could have that bad of luck all on their own. That was coupled with the oddly silent Microsoft problem with no official statement as to the problem or source. So I did a little searching.
According to user complaints and a personal inquiry made by ZDNet, XBox users have been silently battling hackers with no help from Microsoft. MSPoints have been disappearing and along with stolen accounts, which are then being reused with the associated credit cards to make purchases with out the owner’s consent. This has been a problem since 2007. Most notable to run the Live ID black market is a group called Infamous Clan, who actually brag about their skills online. Microsoft has been no help to XBoxLive users with this problem, their own tech support has even acknowledged this. They suggest cancelling the card and making a new account.
Because this is an isolated -yet constant- problem, Microsoft has decided not to take the same root has halting online service in order to fix it. This is most likely because their online service is paid for, with a guarantee that this problem in security can not happen. But ignoring a problem doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it only means the money you make doing business as usual out ways the loss you would have in both trust and financial to fix it. Sony and Microsoft are two big companies that decided to take opposite sides of the road, and rightfully so. Because Sony’s online is free, without Playstation Plus, it can more evenly weight the risk in continuing fixes in secret or stopping service for a grand reprisal. But with the trust and money locked into Microsoft’s pay service, it would be detrimental to stop service for a proper cleaning. The best wall Microsoft has in stopping lose from angered customers is a lacking tech support, which makes them harder to reach and makes the consumer more likely to find his own solution without their help. At the end of the day, just as I’ve always said, both systems have their own pros and cons, and equal footing. Sony is no saint, but it doesn’t make Microsoft less of a sinner.