Major Nelson's Xbox LIVE Account Breached

By DavieMarshall, 6 years ago
Larry Hryb, better known by his monicker 'Major Nelson', is a popular resident spokesperson and podcaster for Microsoft, spending much of his time in the spotlight of the online community .

Screenshots secured by Kotaku revealed that his Xbox LIVE account had seemingly been 'hacked' (note the loose sense of the word here) and his profile content replaced with offensive language and several comments from the alleged hacker.

His newly furnished profile stated, among other 'Not Safe For Work' comments, 'ANY ACCOUNT $100 PAYPAL' .

The details were quickly removed and Major Nelson's profile restored to normal. Soon afterwards a website by the name of 'LiGHTzz' claimed responsibility for the 'hack', and links were established to a man who gave his name as Yasiel Rodriguez.

You'll notice in the opening of this article I used the word hacking enclosed in quotation marks. That would go some way to indicating my skeptism of the details surrounding this incident. Whilst it's not within a Newshound's remit to start colouring their articles with personal bias, I feel it would be prudent not to adopt Kotaku's approach who led their story with the headline, 'Xbox Live Director's Account Hacked! (Are You Next?)', and to instead offer users some sane and logical advice.

If what the hacker claimed was true (Any account $100) then I'm sure we would be seeing this kind of thing on a greater scale with the accounts of most Xbox LIVE celebrities, (Nelson, SuperKaylo, Stallion83 etc).

Furthermore whilst people enjoy bashing Microsoft (because, hey, Apple don't grab our money, right?) we do have to remind ourselves they are a corporation with their entire fortune more or less built around computing. Microsoft are good at security. It's what they do. If the LIVE/passport network was as unsecure as is suggested by this 'hacker' then we'd be seeing this issue all throughout Windows LIVE Mail and beyond. People forget your login details are not unique to Xbox LIVE, they are tied to several other locations within Microsoft's empire. These details won't be easy to get at. Not $100 easy anyway.

These kinds of things almost always originate from either phishing scams (which I think we can assume Major Nelson would be able to spot and avoid from a mile away), or from the simple and most basic of tasks, watching somebody enter their details.

At this moment in time Major Nelson is at the PAX East Xbox LIVE event. I find it much more likely he was caught entering his details by an enterprising 'hacker' wanting to make a name for himself on the internet and the event unravelled from there.

In short. Don't read too much into headlines from other websites crafted to invoke a false sense of panic. Just be sensible and follow the guidelines given in Microsoft's Code of Conduct (http://www.xbox.com/en-US/legal/codeofconduct.htm) to stay safe online. I'm sure this would be teaching most of you to suck eggs anyway.

This story just goes to show no-one is infallible and mistakes can be made. A cautionary tale if you will!

Happy gaming!

Update: Major Nelson has since stated that "I have control of the account. The enforcement team took care of it".

Xbox LIVE Director of Policy and Enforcement Stephen Toulouse is said to be 'looking into it'.