Can’t login to Games for Windows Live?

I changed my Xbox Live password recently and found I couldn’t login to GFWL this evening. “No problem”, I thought. Just change the password to my new one.

No, I can’t change the password. I can select the password field. It’s active, I can move the cursor back and forward but I can’t type or delete the * characters.

Luckily it was a simple, if non obvious, fix to get around this. Uncheck the “Save my e-mail address and password” and “Sign me in automatically” checkboxes. Now you can select the password field and change it. Don’t forget to “remember” the password again..

Yes, Games for Windows Live is a POS.

Xbox 360 vulnerability? No, just weak passwords!

If your Xbox Live account has been hacked chances are it’s because you used a weak password. According to this post xbox.com reveals if a hacker has found a legitimate email address by printing the following error:

The email address is or password is incorrect. Please try again.

After 8 attempts with a wrong password a CAPTCHA is shown but that can be easily circumvented.

Now, showing that error message makes the job of hacking accounts easier but if it wasn’t there you can be sure that login page would be (and is being) hit by dumb bots that stuff the login page with random emails and passwords. My blog gets hit by so many bots exploiting vulnerabilities for software that doesn’t even run on here that nothing surprises me any more about the intelligence of script kiddies.

It would be super if Microsoft used something like Steam Guard or at the very least put time limits on successive password checks but in the meantime what can you do?

  • Use Lass Pass or another password service and pick a strong password. Use a pass phrase, “talking heads is a great band”, “i wish i had super powers”, “use your own imagination”. They’re all a lot better than “abcdefg1” and a lot easier to remember! Connect a keyboard to your Xbox to type a long phrase in or you’ll be discouraged.
  • Limit the damage. Don’t add your credit card to Xbox Live. Sometimes you can buy an Xbox Live Gold subscription at half the price Micrsoft charges. Buy points cards if you want to buy stuff. Until recently it was hard to stop XBL auto renewing if you used a credit card.
  • Go live in a hole in the hills and play marbles with the mice.

My XBL Gold subscription ran out a few days ago so I’m back to being a silver member. Not too fussed as almost everyone I play online with has a PS3 or PC too. I’m left wondering why I need an Xbox 360 any more! I will make doubly sure that I have a strong password on the account.

Thanks Gavin for linking to that article, even if we do disagree about what a security hole is. 🙂

I played two games of Call of Duty WAW y…

I played two games of Call of Duty WAW yesterday evening. I have WAW and COD 4 on the Xbox 360 and I was considering trading them in for the PS3 versions.

How did I do? I played in the newbie section and didn’t get one single kill but I did manage a kill assist. Luckily my team won both games so I ranked up to level 3! I got kicked out in the next game because I didn’t have the map though.

I won’t be rushing out to play it just yet.

Get 400 MS points for Xbox Live when you…

Get 400 MS points for Xbox Live when you download the Red Dead Redemption multiplayer free roam trailer. Well, if you’re one of the first 5,000 to do so. The promotion started yesterday and I just started my download a minute ago when I remembered. Hope I got in on time. (UK only, but come on, I’m just over the Irish Sea!)

More on this Joystiq post.

Bah! Frapz spammed me!

I received a friend request from an oddly named character on Xbox Live the other day. Looked something like wwwwfrapzcouk with some odd characters thrown in here and there. They then spammed me. Grrr.

Frapz Spam

Rather embarrassingly for them, their website isn’t even set up correctly:

Friend removed, and complaint lodged. I don’t like unsolicited commercial messages. Especially on a social network.

Halo: Reach ‘Invasion’ Mode

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They finally switched off multiplayer for Halo 2 recently, just in time for people to try out the beta of Halo Reach. If you have ODST you got a beta code withe the game. Even though I didn’t think much of ODST (didn’t play it online though) I’m looking forward to Reach, if only because Anthony is counting the days until it’s released. (via)

I’m not Ken Burton!

In future, if someone sends me a friend request and then asks if I’m Ken Burton they’re getting kicked off my friends list. Just recently I received the following message when I switched on my Xbox 360:

Is this ken burtons account

I replied “no”, and he sent me another message:

whos account is it

To which I replied, “it’s mine!” and shut down my Xbox. How do people think I’m Ken Burton?

Just checked, his last reply was, “sorry man my bad”. 🙂

Update on April 17th, 2010 I received my first Ken Burton friend request on the Playstation Network. I booted up the PS3 last night to play some Bad Company 2 and this was waiting for me. *sigh*

Free 7 day Xbox Live for MW2 Map buyers

I got a message this morning saying my Xbox Live subscription would be extended by 7 days on May 1st because I bought the Modern Warfare 2 Map Pack on Day 1.

So, let’s see, 34/52 is around 0.65 Euro. A tiny bonus but people will be singing their praises all day I bet!

Meanwhile, here’s a quad bike going airborne courtesy of Field Operative. Wow.