Hackers Leak Xbox One SDK Allowing for Open Development on the Console

Just one week after the massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks put on the PlayStation and Xbox Live networks, due to the the notorious Lizard Squad hackers, another group of hackers have released an important Xbox-based file that can allow for unofficial development within the console.

Microsoft’s reign of disaster proved not to be over after the massive cyber attacks that took their services offline over the holiday weekend, this time a cyber attack did not plague Microsoft’s Xbox One console. This time, hacker released a software development kit (SDK) for the Xbox One that is currently being freely passed around the Internet.

The group calling themselves, H4LT, have claimed responsibility for the leak of Microsoft’s official Xbox One developer kit, possibly opening doors for homemade games and applications, allowing unapproved and unofficial applications to be installed within the system.

H4LT announced the Xbox One SDK leak via their official Twitter account, providing screenshots of November’s release of the Durango XDK, which is an Xbox Development kit, included was development tools, device firmware, and official documentation.

Hey, @Xbox! We thought we’d drop on by and End 2014 with a Bang ;) https://t.co/dQH9CIPrb0

— areWeH4LT (@notHALT) December 30, 2014

H4LT claims their groups leak for was for the better, and to allow for “creativity and research towards homebrew applications” referring to the Xbox One console. To get better clarification, one group member gave the following explanation to TechGame during an interview, explaining the reasoning behind their actions:

“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.”

H4LT contacted Lizard Squad on Twitter shortly after their leak, keeping their distance from the group, indicating they have no direct ties with the squads prior actions. As Lizard Squad is commonly known for turning the PlayStation network and Xbox Live gaming engines offline, the group directed a tweet to them asking:

@LizardMafia You had fun by taking down servers. Can we have fun for leak-*cough* giving out this? – xd3v pic.twitter.com/rAM3bclIwW

— areWeH4LT (@notHALT) December 30, 2014

The hackers stated there is no working exploit at the moment that would allow for developers to run homemade applications on the current Xbox One console, but does hope someone familiar with console firmware and the workings of Windows 8 will be able to sift through the documentation to find something.

“Once the SDK is out, people who have knowledge or has in the past reversed files related to the Windows (8) operating system should definitely have a go at reversing some files in there,” one H4LT member added in an interview “Why? Well, the Xbox One is practically a stripped Windows 8 device and has introduced a new package format that hasn’t had much attention. This format is responsible for updating the console and storing applications (Games are under the category of ‘Applications’ on the Xbox One) and is a modification of Virtual Hard Disks.”

As the leak is new, documentation and information about the SDK remain scarce, but as time passes we can assume developers, hackers and many others will begin utilizing the Xbox One SDK efficiently.

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