Can hackers retrieve credit card info from old Xbox 360 hard drives?

Microsoft "conducting a thorough investigation into researchers' claims"

Microsoft says it's looking into reports that hackers can retrieve credit card data and other personal information from old Xbox 360 hard drives.


Researchers at US-based Drexel University claimed earlier this week that Xbox 360 hard drives retain the credit card info of past users even if they've been re-formatted and restored to factory settings.

In a statement issued to Joystiq, Jim Alkove, head of security at Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, said the firm was looking into the claims, and suggested it's not possible to access previous users' credit card data from a refurbished console.

"We are conducting a thorough investigation into the researchers' claims," he said. "We have requested information that will allow us to investigate the console in question and have still not received the information needed to replicate the researchers' claims.

"Xbox is not designed to store credit card data locally on the console, and as such seems unlikely credit card data was recovered by the method described. Additionally, when Microsoft refurbishes used consoles we have processes in place to wipe the local hard drives of any other user data. We can assure Xbox owners we take the privacy and security of their personal data very seriously."