Kinect Hacker Doesn’t Claim Prize Money, Microsoft Denies Hacking
As reported yesterday, an enterprising nerd has already figured out how to control the Kinect’s motors and read accelerometer and camera data from the device. Though most figured the hacker raced to the finish line for the $2,000 bounty offered by tech site Adafruit for the first hack, it turns out that not only is he not claiming that bounty, but he’s not even going to release the hack to the public. Instead, it is a corporate venture, and the drivers for the Kinect are planned to be integrated into the CL Studio Live virtualization suite.
Microsoft has since issued a statement regarding the news:
“Kinect for Xbox 360 has not been hacked–in any way–as the software and hardware that are part of Kinect for Xbox 360 have not been modified. What has happened is someone has created drivers that allow other devices to interface with the Kinect for Xbox 360. The creation of these drivers, and the use of Kinect for Xbox 360 with other devices, is unsupported. We strongly encourage customers to use Kinect for Xbox 360 with their Xbox 360 to get the best experience possible,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.
Ok so yeah, if you want to get technical, the Kinect has actually not been hacked. The engineer in this case really just reverse-engineered drivers. It’s a slight face-saving distinction, given how confident Microsoft has been regarding the security measures protecting the firmware of the Kinect. Even still, the best security is just a time-buying measure.
What a real hack would do is fundamentally alter the firmware of the Kinect, and potentially allow someone to view the feed and audio of a Kinect remotely through the internet. That’s not something that anyone wants – well, anyone that doesn’t have a few reasons to visit a psychiatrist.