Readers would be wise to file everything that follows as a rumor for the time being. According to reports by various users around the internet, Xbox 360 users whose systems had previously been banned from access to Xbox Live would once again be able to connect to the online service. Now, I would take most of this with a grain of salt as Microsoft has not released an official statement so far, but it does seem that many banned users were able to access Xbox Live.
The rumors flying around the hacking and modding scene, such as this forum thread, are that Microsoft was afraid of an attack from hacker “group” Anonymous, which has gained a lot of notoriety (some of it deserved and some rampant speculation) due to the state of the Playstation Network. It was being tossed around that Anonymous threatened the software giant with a similar fate and this mass unbanning was an appeasement for the hacking and modding community.
I think it should be clear to anyone over the age of 13 that this story is complete nonsense, as a billion dollar company is certainly not going to undo console bans which were put in place to stop users from either cheating online or pirating games. It should also be noted that Anonymous are not the hacking wizards that the internet seems to think they are, but instead just a group of online users who were trying to get a message across. It has yet to be seen whether Anonymous had anything to do with the Playstation network downtime and it is looking less and less likely with each update from Sony. It is even more unlikely that Microsoft would bow to the threats of an anonymous group of the same kind of hackers it deals with daily.
As evidence that Xbox 360 consoles all over the world weren’t unbanned as some sort of pacifier to the hacking community, all previously banned 360’s are now once again completely blocked from Xbox Live. It seems like the most likely explanation is that someone at Microsoft made a mistake which was then quickly corrected. The modders were at the height of proclaiming that Microsoft was running scared from Anonymous and celebrating their renewed ability to cheat their way to the top of Call of Duty leaderboards when all of a sudden it became apparent how foolish they had all been. I don’t mean to insult everyone who is involved in the hacking and modding community, but users who post comments like, “LOL. There scared!” or “I think microsoft is acting like an 8 year old girl, unbanning xboxs in fear of them being hacked because what happened to Sony! I trololol at Microsoft and Sony.” (actual comments) make themselves seem like impudent children.
I hope that this fiasco will help to reduce the amount of talk about Anonymous and hackers fighting back against corporate greed that has been all the rage the last few weeks. Anonymous did not hack the PSN, users can not threaten corporations, and if your Xbox was banned then you more than likely deserved. Now can we all please move on? To get an idea of the type of
idiots really cool people that were in an uproar over this, check out DJ keemstar’s video, where he brags about having 15 banned consoles.