X360 dash patch vs. hackers?

Or not.

Microsoft yesterday delivered an Xbox 360 dashboard software auto-update supposedly designed to prevent hackers using the infamous "kiosk disk".

The 'demo disk' was designed for display units in shops, and featured demos and movies showcasing 360 functionality but lacked copy protection, allowing anybody who cared to download it from Usenet and then create a working copy with a DVD burner. Oops.

Hackers were using the bootable disk to try and oil the rails for a modchip. Early exploits including some recognised leaderboard hacks, which are reportedly dealt with by the mighty auto-update. The kiosk disk no longer works in retail Xbox 360 consoles according to those who make use of it.

Meanwhile, the dashboard update also makes unspecified improvements to Xbox Guide, adds the option to retain savegames when deleting Kristan's profile (or anybody else's, come to think of it), increases the accuracy of "last time played" (fantastic), does a better job of articulating itself when it has a disk-read or region-lock error, and even throws in some network config improvements for the Dutch.

Anybody with a 360 should receive the update automagically when they next connect to Live.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story erroneously attributed quotes to Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hyrb. The quotes were those of an anonymous poster on Hyrb's blog. Thanks to everyone who pointed this out - it's been amended and we apologise for the error.

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