The downside of gaming

xboxFrustrating afternoon. Somebody hacked my Xbox account, bought $50 worth of Microsoft points, and got away with 4,000 ill-gotten points plus some 400 or so I had residing on the account. Bank of America, the bank you love to hate, was somehow alert enough to pick up on the activity, consider it suspicious, and call me. Beats me how they knew. Fortunately, I won’t be charged for the purchase, but I have to get a new account number, meaning I’m sans account access until the new card arrives in about 5 days. Meantime, I changed my password online, then discovered when I tried to log into a game that my account had been deactivated/locked, so I had to call the Xbox people and walk through a reactivation process. I hope somebody out there chokes on their 4,400 points!

3 thoughts on “The downside of gaming

  1. Knock on wood, but I’ve never been “hacked”. Yet. I’m curious – any idea how it happened? The most common problem I read about is weak passwords, passwords that are guessable because they involve a family or pet name, for example.

    I keep reading too about the experts advising us all to change our passwords “regularly”, but this doesn’t make sense to me, mathematically. If I have a reasonably complex, i.e., hard to hack, password and it has been safe up to the present, then how can the mere passage of more time make it more vulnerable? I say that it doesn’t. The only “advantage” I can see to changing my passwords every month is to automatically limit the damage a hacker might do to 30 days or less, assuming you don’t detect the problem before hand. The downside of doing that, however, would be complicating my life to the point of insanity. 🙄

    There is a statistical analogy to password conundrum: let’s say you flip a coin five times and it comes up heads every time. That’s like using the same password five months in a row. Now, what are the odds that the coin will come up heads on the sixth toss? They are exactly the same as before: 50/50. Therefore I reason that my old password has exactly the same odds of being hacked as does a brand new password (assuming the complexity of the password is the same).

    1. Not sure how it happened, and I’m not as adept with Xbox security as I once was with PC games. I’ve changed passwords, etc., but Xbox Live is tied into the Microsoft network, which is complex beyond my comprehension and could be providing all sorts of openings to hackers that I’m not even aware of.

... and that's my two cents