Xbox One SDK gets leaked

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It seems that whilst we’ve all been busy celebrating Christmas, hacking groups have been hard at work as now yet another hacking group has attacked Microsoft – and leaked the software development kit (SDK) for the Xbox One.

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The SDK is important as it is what Microsoft sends to developers to enable them to make games for the console. This is a highly controlled process – developers need to be properly accredited and so on – so that Microsoft can control what games and apps will run on the machine. But the leak now conceivably means that anyone who downloads the SDK and is smart enough could program for the Xbox One.

The group claiming responsibility for the hack is known as H4LT, and it told TheTechGame via Twitter DM why it did it:

“We leaked it to the community because if something is shared then.. progress is achieved faster than alone

“Something kept between us will not achieve anything. Share it with the community = creativity and research. Shared is how it should be.

“The SDK will basically allow the community to reverse and open doors towards homebrew applications being present on the Xbox One.”

So this could be interesting – as it could lead to an explosion in the “homebrew” scene for the console (think hobbyists making their own games), but it could also be devastating for Microsoft and games publishers as the code can now be pored over for exploits that will enable gamers to run pirate copies of games. We expect we might see an “arms race” type situation now develop between Microsoft and hackers, similar to how each new version of Apple’s iOS leads to a new version of the “jailbreak” software, and vice-versa.

There will be interesting times ahead, no doubt.

James O’Malley