Xbox 360 vulnerability found, homebrew could be just around the corner

Hacked Xbox 360

While we appreciate Microsoft's concessions to the DIY gaming community with the XNA Game Studio Express, that's still small compensation for the fact that at the end of the day, that $400 white box in our living room isn't quite "ours" -- Microsoft still calls the shots as to what code can push that hardware around. At least until today. Apparently a vulnerability has been discovered, and while the jargon is rather over our heads, it doesn't take a hax0r to understand the potential upshot: homebrew on the 360. The word is that there's a "critical vulnerability in Microsoft's Xbox 360 that allows privilege escalation into hypervisor mode." Toss in a method to "inject data into non-privileged memory areas" and you've got "an attacker with physical access to an Xbox 360 to run arbitrary code such as alternative operating systems with full privileges and full hardware access." Sounds like a good time for all! The exploit works in kernel 4532 and 4548, but Microsoft is aware of the flaw, and has patched kernel 4552, which was released on January 9th. We can't quite tell if this will actually mean that Joe consumer will end up with homebrew as a result of this hack, but it's promising all the same.