Xbox Live is being targeted by malicious hackers selling services that kick players off the network.
The booting services are proving popular with players who want a way to get revenge on those who beat them in an Xbox Live game.
The attackers are employing data flooding tools that have been used against websites for many years. The tools work by exploiting the way that the Xbox Live network is set up. The smart thing about these Xbox tools is that they do not attack the Xbox Live network.
Microsoft is "investigating" the use of the tools and said those caught using them would be banned from Xbox Live.
A lot of games on Xbox Live are hosted by players, and are not hosted on private servers. All the hackers need is the IP address of whoever is hosting a game and then they can employ many of the attacks that have been used for years against websites.
The Hackers get your IP address, put it in the booter tool and they attempt to flood the port that uses Xbox traffic, When turned against an Xbox owner, it can mean they cannot connect to the Live network and effectively throws them out of the game.
The hard part, is discovering a particular gamer's IP address but many malicious hackers have honed the skills needed to find them.
The technical knowledge needed to hunt down IP addresses is quite high, but many of those who have the skills are selling their expertise to those keen to hit back at their rivals on the Xbox Live network.
In response to the rise in attacks, Microsoft said: "We are investigating reports involving the use of malicious software tools that an attacker could use to try and disrupt an Xbox LIVE player's internet connection."
It added: "This problem is not related to the Xbox Live service, but to the player's internet connection. The attacker could also attempt [to] disrupt other internet activities, such as streaming video or web browsing, using the same tools.
In January 2009 Microsoft announced that Xbox Live had more than 17m members.
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