Hackers download Halo: Reach off Xbox Live

By on August 23, 2010, 5:26 PM
Update: Microsoft has delivered a swift and mighty blow with its ban stick. Everyone caught with the prerelease game is being permanently suspended from Xbox Live. Read the full notice after the break. Thanks to Relic for the tip.

Hackers have successfully downloaded Halo: Reach off Microsoft's servers nearly a month ahead of the official release. Redmond recently put the game on Xbox Live for easy distribution among reviewers, but it required a special code, effectively locking it from the public. It was also priced at 99,999 Microsoft points, or $1,250, so even without the code gamers would have been deterred -- or so the company thought.

The team over at GameTuts managed to bypass Microsoft's security measures. "So after a lot of .xex cracking etc., [m]e and my team finally did it, we got Halo: Reach!" wrote Joakim, a GameTuts moderator. The group apparently decided not to leak the game to other sites, but gave access to an untold number of GameTuts users who presumably didn't agree to keep the early copy of Reach from spreading online.

Microsoft is investigating the breach, but did not say how users running the game will be punished if they're caught. "We are aware of claims being made regarding a security exploit related to Halo: Reach and are aggressively investigating the matter. We have no further details to share at this time." This isn't the first time a title in the Halo franchise has been accessed prematurely. Halo 2 and 3 were also leaked.

Notification of Permanent Suspension: Prerelease title play

This email is to notify you that your Xbox LIVE account privileges have been permanently suspended due to illegitimate prerelease title play.

Your conduct was brought to the attention of the LIVE Enforcement Team through the course of our operation of the service. The LIVE Enforcement Team has reviewed the evidence regarding this conduct and determined it violates the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use and/or Code of Conduct. Because your conduct is in violation, the Xbox LIVE Enforcement Team has issued a permanent suspension.

During your suspension, you will not be able to log into Xbox LIVE. Your Xbox LIVE privileges will not be reinstated.

Customer Support is not able to modify or provide any further details about your suspension.

Microsoft expects that all customers abide by the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct provides guidelines for appropriate behavior while using the service.

You can view the Xbox LIVE Code of Conduct from the Xbox LIVE Dashboard under Xbox LIVE Policies in Account Management, or by visiting http://www.xbox.com/live/codeofconduct.htm.You can view the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use by visiting http://www.xbox.com/live/termsofuse.htm.

Note: if you are not a user of Xbox LIVE, this suspension may have been enacted due to your activity in the Zune Social. You can view the Zune Social Code of Conduct by visiting http://www.zune.net/legal/codeOfConduct.htm. You can view the Zune Social Terms of Service by visiting http://www.zune.net/legal/termsofservice.htm.

Thank you,
LIVE Enforcement Team

User Comments: 23

Got something to say? Post a comment
JudaZ said:

ooh comon MS Be glad that the games is so loved that people what to break in to get an early glims. .. and then hire the ones who did it to create better security.

The games is obviosly in demand, thats a good thing...

The public beta of Windows 7 and Office 2010 worked great didnt it, and helped push sales when it was later released for sale....look at this the same way.

TheDumbass said:

in your face MS

Guest said:

Haha I love the two contrasting comments above me

Leeky Leeky said:

The person who decided to upload it to xbox live will be rather red faced at the next meeting! haha.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Oh, man! This is hilarious! Why would they put it up on XBOX Live?? XD

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm with Judaz on this one. This is a XBOX game, not a PC game. If you want to play it on the Live servers against other XBOX players you'll need a legit copy.

Guest said:

with all the resources MS has at their disposal, this was their best idea, put the game up on LIVE. They distribute beta and trial stuff for enterprise and developers via Virtual Machines all the time, and the VM's even have a timed expiration.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This has happened before and it'll likely continue to happen in the future. I remember when my friends got the Halo 2 leak, we were all angry at the pistol nerf =( .

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

No kidding. The pistol in Halo 1 was awesome.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

I preordered this game through Walmart, and got a $20 ecard for their online store. I don't even have to leave my house to get the game since its delivered, although I do work that day : ( Oh, and the ODST pistol is great once you get shields down.

Guest said:

thats something to get EPiC back to pc gaming lol

cyrusjumpjet cyrusjumpjet said:

Am I the only person on the planet who can't stand the Halo games? Everything about them just feels dull and wrong to me....

gobbybobby said:

Pistol + Swat = WIN!

gobbybobby said:

@JudaZ. Halo reach already had a MP beta.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Its just a game guys... wow.

Guest said:

please put it on PC!!!

superty12 superty12 said:


I wonder how many got banned. I think this comes under illegal activity. Anyways, they got what they deserved. Next time, Microsoft should just send the game to the reviewers directly. Pretty big ban. Hopefully the reviewers didn't get banned. You'd think Microsoft would've learned their lesson by now.

tengeta tengeta said:

I wonder if any 13 year olds got mom's credit card and paid the legitimate $1,250 price for it. I remember some kids when I was that age were so obsessed with some game franchises enough that they probably would have tried it.

metrex said:

This looks like an "inside job" to me Come on 3 times. WOW come on Microsoft you love the publicity..

Guest said:

You can't buy the game for 99999 MS points, because there is a limit at 50000.

Guest said:

yeah it fif push sails for windows 7 but it was also hacked much earlier than it would have been if there was no beta

Guest said:

All hackers get banned but they somehow unbanned themselves. The Call of Duty franchise (especially Modern Warfare 2) is proof of that.

Guest said:

You can easily get into the Beta by following some very simple directions found here:


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