Hackers can obtain personal data off old hard drives

A report has suggested hackers can retrieve credit card data and other personal information from old Xbox 360 hard drives, even if they’ve been re-formatted.

Conducted by Drexel University researcher, Ashley Podhradsky, the study says that Microsoft does a good job protecting its own proprietary information on the console, but doesn’t take any steps to protect user data.

In response to the report, Jim Alkove, general manager of Microsoft’s security of interactive entertainment business, told Joystiq: “We are conducting a thorough investigation into the researchers’ claims. We have requested information that will allow us to investigate the console in question and have still not received the information needed to replicate the researchers’ claims.

Xbox is not designed to store credit card data locally on the console, and as such seems unlikely credit card data was recovered by the method described. Additionally, when Microsoft refurbishes used consoles we have processes in place to wipe the local hard drives of any other user data. We can assure Xbox owners we take the privacy and security of their personal data very seriously.

David Wriglesworth

David Wriglesworth is a Northern lad with a passion for gaming, who graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BA (Hons) Journalism degree. If you can drag him away from the consoles, you can probably find him Tweeting or watching Coronation Street.

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