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What we know about the upcoming Xbox One hack so far | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Yesterday I talked about an upcoming exploit for Xbox One, the first software-based kernel exploit working on “retail” mode (e.g. doesn’t require development mode). If I haven’t made that clear yesterday, I don’t know anything about the Xbox scene, so the first thing you should do if you’re interested in this hack is stop reading my article and instead follow carrot_c4k3 on Twitter, the hacker behind the exploit.

Since my article yesterday, a few things have been clarified:

1. At the time of publishing, the latest firmware update (10.0.25398.4478) is vulnerable to the exploit

There was some early confusion (from me as well) as to whether Microsoft have patched the exploit already. There is indeed a newer version of the Xbox firmware which is apparently not vulnerable, but that version is currently a “beta” firmware for people participating in the Xbox Insider program. That firmware is 10.0.25398.4908. At the time of writing, you can leave the insider program, and uninstall that beta firmware. You should be able to get your console back to (or updated to) 10.0.25398.4478

Thanks to @mbcrump for the screnshot 😉

2. It is possible to update your Xbox firmware offline, but…

Just like the PlayStation, the main risk you run is that you update your console by mistake while online. You’d typically want to stay offline, and use the offline update feature, however:

  • Some people have reported that the offline update didn’t work for them
  • More importantly, you need to have the Game Script app downloaded and installed on your xbox in order to run the exploit. In order to install that app, you need to be on the latest firmware in order to access the Microsoft Network

Bottom line, you need to do this preparation work asap, or you’ll miss the opportunity

3. This isn’t a Jailbreak in the traditional meaning of the word

Carrot_c4k3 has shared details on the exploit, and in particular the fact that this will not enable piracy. Whether that’s a technical limitation that could later on be lifted, wasn’t specified. In details:

this is NOT a “jailbreak”. systemos is the virtual machine where apps run, its the environment you get control over when you enable dev mode on your console. this exploit will allow full control over this vm homebrew on retail consoles without dev mode. it will NOT allow piracy.


It is worth mentioning that Xbox One game dumps are now a possibility, but whether those can be used in the future via this exploit is

4. Release is expected to be early next month (significant work remains to be done on the exploit)

Carrot_c4k3 has given the precision that she expects to release the exploit early next month. However, the kernel portion of the exploit isn’t implemented yet. In a normal situation, this would be enough to trigger a red flag for me, but she’s clarified that the exploit works on windows, and that the PoC already confirms the exploit is achievable on Xbox:

5. More info

Some more info on Xbox One security can be found below


6. In conclusion: Prepare your console, then play the waiting game

To restate the steps you need to take right now (source):

  1. Make sure your Xbox is running on firmware 10.0.25398.4478. If you’re on 10.0.25398.4908, you might have a way to go back to 10.0.25398.4478 by leaving the Xbox insiders program
  2. Ensure your Xbox Live account Login-Type is configured as “No barriers” aka. auto-login with no password prompt
  3. Set your console as “Home Console” for this account
  4. Download the App Game Script
  5. Start the app (to ensure license is downloaded/cached)
  6. Take your console offline! To make extra sure it cannot reach the internet, set a manual primary DNS address of
  7. Get a device/microcontroller that can simulate a Keyboard (rubber ducky or similar) – otherwise you have to type a lot manually 


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