Game piracy and hacked machines are spreading rapidly in China since the Xbox 360’s security system has been successfully bypassed, allowing Far East gamers to play copied games for a small fee, according to Microsoft.
"The core security system has not been broken,” Microsoft’s John Porcaro stated in an official response to the epidemic. “However, on some Xbox 360 consoles the authentication protocol between the optical disc drive and the console may be attacked via a complex software and hardware modification which could allow people to play illegally copied and modified games. We continue to invest in the security of the platform and will respond appropriately as unauthorized activity is identified."
Pirated games such as [i]Hitman: Blood Money[/i] and [i]Ninety Nine Nights[/i] are selling for around 30 Chinese yuan (roughly $3.50): A dramatic drop from their market price of $40-$50. Considering that the average Chinese worker only makes about $5,000 a year, it’s understandable why these pirated games are so desirable.
While it is believed that Microsoft will eventually include an update via Xbox Live that will counteract the hack, those who avoid playing online can enjoy their pirated booty for some time to come.