Group claims Linux advance on Xbox

Monday, 30 June 2003, 10:09 AM EST

The group, which has asked not to be named in this article, approached ZDNet Australia after repeated attempts to contact Microsoft independently failed.

The researchers say they want Microsoft to release a "signed" Linux boot loader--software that runs when a computer starts up to load and give control to the operating system--that would allow Xbox users to run the open-source operating system on the console without installing a chip.

A signed Linux boot loader will not allow users to load pirated games, they say. However, the release of new Xbox exploits that the researchers claim to have developed to run Linux on the console could have the side effect of allowing piracy without the need to install a mod chip, something the hackers say they would like to avoid. Mod chips, which allow the bypassing of Xbox security systems, must be soldered onto the console's main circuit board.

The range of exploits will be released within weeks if Microsoft doesn't respond to their requests for talks, they say.

Microsoft is investigating technical and legal issues in connection with the alleged hack and is expected to have a conclusive response early next week, the company said in a statement.

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