Microsoft beefs up Xbox Live's security to combat online fraud

By on July 19, 2012, 7:30 AM

With services being hacked left and right, Microsoft has acted on user feedback submitted in recent months by introducing new security measures to Xbox Live. Along with unexplained "security enhancements" implemented behind the scenes during Xbox Live's spring update, the company increased notifications to accounts that may be compromised, encouraging them to update their passwords.

Microsoft has also begun sending unique codes to security phone numbers and secondary email addresses used to verify authorization for account changes and charges that don't come from a trusted device.

The company is working to reduce incentives for criminal activity such as trading stolen accounts as well as committing identity theft and credit card fraud by using legal action to have such material pulled off the Web. Individuals caught illegally buying or selling gamertags, usernames and passwords gathered from malware and phishing schemes risk criminal prosecution.

The advice has been beaten to death, but Microsoft mentioned that users should change their passwords frequently and use unique credentials for every service, noting that "password" and "12345" are still the most commonly used passwords when login data is dumped online after breaches. The company also encourages members to check their security information regularly.

"The Internet has transformed the way we purchase goods and services and added layers of convenience to our lives. Yet, disappointingly, online fraud increasingly victimizes millions of unsuspecting consumers each year. The organized groups of criminals involved do not care about the time or expense experienced by individuals they've attacked; or the billions in currency global companies and financial institutions absorb each year from their illegal activities. In the end, all of us pay a high price for online fraud," said Xbox Live General Manager Alex Garden. "That is why our resolve at Microsoft to battle fraud and our commitment to account security is stronger than ever. I hope you’ll take a few moments to protect your account today."




User Comments: 3

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m4a4 m4a4 said:

I hope gamertags now have a reset time (maybe a week) so that it is not convenient to steal one...

ikesmasher said:

it ticks me off that most of the time when we ask for increased security that companies increase security breach notifications. upgrade YOUR security, not the amount of times you tell us your security failed.

Guest said:

This is very relevant to me. I just got my Xbox Live account hijacked by someone who seems to have put a stolen credit card on my account. Then they bought $250 worth of Microsoft Points. Does not matter to me because I never use credit cards with my xbox (just prepaid). I only realized I had been hijacked when I tried to add a prepaid code to my account, it would not take it because my account is locked down. Been on the phone with Microsoft for 3 days.

Now I can't get Battlefield 3 Premium *facepalm*

Gamertag: channelzero0

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