posted 27 Nov 2011, 15:28
C4eva shared with us in private today some further details about the upcoming iXtreme LT+ v3.0, which is now targetted for release sometime after December 6, 2011. Earlier this week, Microsoft’s Major Nelson announced December 6 as the official release date for the final version of its Fall 2011 Dashboard Update. Scheduling LT+ v3.0 for release after this date will allow c4eva and the team a chance to analyze the final update so as to ensure no additional changes to v3.0 are necessary.
With the new iXtreme LT+ v3.0, original game discs will need to be analyzed by Xbox Backup Creator in order to gain disc topology data. This data replaces the need for AP2.5/dae.bin data and enables any AP2.5 challenge to be answered correctly. C4eva noted that the topology data method is very efficient — using only 24kB of space — and extremely accurate. Due to differences between them, each game will require its own individual set of topology data. A risk of backups being detected poses itself if the same topology data is used between two different titles. This risk is mitigated by using abgx360 to make certain that the backup contains the appropriate topology data.
Backups will remain the same layout, but will either need to have the topology data inserted by the new abgx360, or be re-dumped with the new Xbox Backup Creator. C4eva reconfirmed that all current AP2.5-active XGD2 and XGD3 backups with old AP25 replay data are not backward-compatible with iXtreme LT+ v3.0 and will indeed need to be patched or re-dumped and re-burned. Non-AP2.5 titles, however, will remain unchanged and do not require re-burning.
posted 25 Nov 2011, 13:27
Microsoft has rolled out yet another update to the Xbox 360 Fall 2011 Preview Dash, this time bringing it to version 2.0.14696.0. During the preview thus far, backups of MW3, for example, have been observed to flip states between working and not working — twice over. The same has been found with several other games. It’s no surprise that many are wondering just WTF is going on.
Contrary to recent rumors, however, MS has not been reverting the dae.bin change/silent update. In actuality, following the silent update of the dae.bin on retail dash 13604, it was quickly determined that MS has been issuing a series of TitleUpdates for certain games (e.g. MW3) alongside the dash updates and dae.bin changes. These TUs appear to be testing the ability for Microsoft to enable/disable triggering of AP2.5 challenges against the disc via the multi-table dae.bin. This is accomplished by patching the default.xex executable with patch files (“.xexp”s) in the TU which patch in or out the Disc ID within the xex header. When the Disc ID is present, and the game has an associated entry in the dae.bin tables, the AP2.5 challenges are triggered. Conversely, when the ID is missing, the system will not be able to find an associated entry in the dae.bin tables, and therefore no AP2.5 checks are performed. This accounts for the success of “TU trick” that people have been using to temporarily bypass the updated AP2.5 challenges (clearing the cache of existing/newer TUs and tricking the 360 into using an older TU that doesn’t patch the Disc ID into the xex).
Being ranked at #1 for Xbox LIVE activity according to the latest charts, MW3 makes an ideal candidate for these types of tests by offering the largest possible test group. Based on this, Microsoft have shown that they now have two methods by which to control whether a game is AP2.5-active. A title may be AP2.5-activated either through the addition of associated entries in the dae.bin tables, and as it now stands, by way of TitleUpdates patching in or out the Disc ID.
Now, you may be asking yourself why MS would want to deactivate AP2.5 on a game. A team member suggested that this may be to allow MS a method for easily disabling AP2.5 for a particular game if it causes issues on retail consoles (this may coincide with the reports of retail copies failing AP2.5 challenges and showing “Disc Unsupported” errors). Purely speculating here, but testing of these TitleUpdates may also be a sign that Microsoft is preparing to issue AP2.5-enabling TUs for some of the more popular older XGD2 games beyond the original six affected (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Fable III, Halo Reach, and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit).
posted 23 Nov 2011, 13:32
By now everyone has heard about the new DAE.bin pushed out by Microsoft now for the Xbox 360 dashboard that killed those playing burned discs and ODD Emulator’s but now the X360key Team is claiming they already ‘defeated’ the new protection system by M$ that was rolled out in less then 36 hours and here is the ‘video’ to prove it, with tools to be released shortly!
posted 23 Nov 2011, 12:29
iXtreme LT+ v3.0 is on the way! Yesterday, having revealed to the team an idea for countering the recent dae.bin/AP2.5 update, c4eva has today confirmed that he has in fact completely done away with the need for dae.bin/AP2.5 data.
Although it’s early stages, c4eva has successfully completed several tests which validate this new method and classified his solution as the “silver bullet” for AP2.5. Rather than using captured challenge results each time the dae.bin changes, the new method builds a complete set of profile data for each disc and works for all AP2.5 challenges, regardless of how the dae.bin is changed.
As a result, the format of backup ISOs will be changing as the AP25 replay sector will no longer be included and the profile data will instead take its place. Though c4eva noted that it will take some development time as it’s not a quick fix, both he and the team will now be putting their full efforts behind bringing this solution to life in the form of new versions of iXtreme LT+, Xbox Backup Creator, and abgx360.
posted 22 Nov 2011, 16:20
Bad news for all users using flashed Xbox360, Microsoft “released” a new silent protection. If you have an error when you want to start a game like MW3, Rage, NFS The Run or Batman Arkham City resulting an error like “Can not read disk”, that’s mean your console is flagged by Microsoft… Stay away from XBOXlive when you are using backup discs or using the xKey, wasabi etc....▼16 comments
Update frome c4eva: “In short every game now has a unique dae.bin file and will always constantly change, which means the end of cfw and the xk3y. as soon as you log onto xbox live a silent update will flag your xbox for a ban, if you have logged on live or after nov 17th you are flagged for a ban, no way around it. only use the xk3y for playing offline. its now 100% xbox live UNSAFE.”
First and foremost, a warning — at this current time it is advised that you stay offline and avoid playing any AP2.5/XGD3 backups. It has been confirmed by the team that the dae.bin is now being silently updated on all LIVE-connected boxes.
This update is not being deployed via a SystemUpdate or TitleUpdate, but rather occurs in the background without any visual indication or prompt to the user. As such, there is no means by which it can be cancelled or avoided, other than not connecting to LIVE. If you’ve connected to LIVE in the past 24 hours, your system has likely already been updated with a changed dae.bin.
All AP2.5/XGD3 backups that contain the now older AP25 replay data will fail the system’s AP2.5 challenges and indeed flag your system (the flagging has also been confirmed by the team).
The dae.bin is now being changed by way of an appended challenge table in the same manner on current retail dashes (13604) as it is on the preview dash (14686), however the content of the challenge tables differ. The team has determined that the appended challenge table appears to be unique per console and contains indentifying information. This means that everyone’s dae.bin is different, and can potentially be traced back to your specific console. Therefore, sharing your dae.bin with others is not advisable.
Source: c4evaspeaks.com xboxscene.com team-xecuter.com
posted 05 Oct 2011, 20:00
A court has overturned a 2010 ruling which said that blocking The Pirate Bay at the ISP level was “disproportionate”. The Antwerp Court of Appeal sided with the Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation in their quest to force two ISPs to block subscriber access to the world’s most famous torrent site. Belgacom and Telenet must now implement a DNS blockade of the site within 14 days or face fines.
After the founders of The Pirate Bay lost their 2009 trial, the Belgian Anti-Piracy Foundation (BAF) began pushing two ISPs – Belgacom and Telenet – to block subscriber access to the famous torrent site.
After year-long negotiations between the trio broke down, legal action was the inevitable outcome and in July 2010 their first battle came to a conclusion.
The Antwerp Commercial Court decided that neither ISP would have to block TPB and went on to describe the notion of wholesale site blocking as “disproportionate”.
The ISPs said it wasn’t their position to decide which sites can and can not be accessed by their users. BAF accused them of providing a safe-haven to The Pirate Bay and filed an appeal. The decision in that appeal has just been announced.
The Antwerp Court of Appeal has just overruled the decision of the Commercial Court and has ordered Belgacom and Telenet to initiate DNS blockades of 11 domains connected to The Pirate Bay within 14 days or face fines.
A Pirate Bay spokesperson told TorrentFreak that this measure will only have the opposite effect, as there are many ways to circumvent it. “This will just give us more traffic, as always. Thanks for the free advertising.”
NURPA, a nonprofit Belgian advocacy group which promotes and protects digital rights, freedom of expression, privacy and civil liberties, say they are disappointed with the decision.
Spokesman André Loconte, who contacted TorrentFreak with the news this morning, says the ruling could run into difficulties under Human Rights legislation.
“The decision of the Antwerp Court of Appeal in the case against Belgacom BAF / Telenet sets a dangerous precedent for blocking of content by Internet service providers in Belgium. It is incompatible with the doctrine of proportionality advocated by the European Court of Human Rights,” says Loconte.
By imposing a site-wide blockade, Loconte says the Court of Appeal has disproportionately censored all content indexed by the site, including legitimately available material.
Telenet and Belgacom are yet to comment on the ruling.
posted 30 Sep 2011, 11:52
Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN has won its landmark court case against News-Service.com, one of the leading Usenet providers. The Amsterdam court ruled that the Usenet provider, which offers its network to Binverse and Usenext among others, has to delete all infringing content from its servers. This decision is similar to the one that effectively shut down the BitTorrent site Mininova, and it could mean the end of one of the leading providers of Usenet access.
Two years ago BREIN, representing the movie and music industries, took News-Service.com (NSE) to court.
The group demanded that the Usenet provider delete all infringing content from its servers, and today the Court of Amsterdam sided with the copyright holders.
In an unprecedented verdict the court ruled that NSE has to remove all copyrighted content within four weeks, or pay 50,000 euros ($68,000) in fines per day. The court states that NSE willingly facilitates copyright infringement through its services.
NSE argued that are simply transmitting content, much like an Internet provider does. However, the court rejected this defense, adding that a notice and takedown procedure is insufficient to protect the rightsholders.
The decision could have far-reaching consequences for many other Internet services, starting with NSE resellers such as Binverse and Usenext..
“We are very disappointed with the Court’s verdict. It is technically as well as economically unfeasible to check the contents of the 15 to 20 million messages that are exchanged on a daily basis. Added to which, there is no automated way of checking whether Usenet messages contain copyrighted material or whether permission has been obtained for the distribution of such material,” NSE CEO Patrick Schreurs said in a comment.
“We see no way of complying with this verdict. Furthermore, the verdict endangers our very existence as a company, and is thus a threat to Usenet itself, as the facilitation of Usenet services has become impossible on the grounds of this verdict. The exchange of messages by means of this oldest of Internet services has de facto become impossible,” he adds.
The Usenet provider is currently considering whether it should appeal the decision.
BREIN is delighted with the verdict of the court, which is very similar to the one that signaled the end of the BitTorrent site Mininova two years ago.
“It is a breakthrough step to further dismantle the availability of illegal content on Usenet,” director Tim Kuik responded.
There is little doubt that the verdict of the Amsterdam Court is going to have a huge impact on the Usenet market, and the question has to be asked where it will stop. Could file-hosting services like MegaUpload and RapidShare be next? And what about other cloud hosting services such as Dropbox?
For now, however, NSE is faced with the impossible task of finding a way to identify and delete all copyrighted files from its servers.
posted 30 Sep 2011, 11:49
A new report looking into online music consumption habits shows that since 2009 the number of people who pirate music has dropped by 25 percent in Sweden. The sharp decrease coincides with a massive interest for the music streaming service Spotify. One of the main reasons why people switch to legal services is the wider range of material they can find there.
When Spotify launched their first beta in the fall of 2008, we branded it “an alternative to music piracy.”
Having the option to stream millions of tracks supported by an occasional ad, or free of ads for a small monthly fee, Spotify appeared to be serious competitor to music piracy. Data just released by the Swedish Music industry appears to support this theory.
Through quarterly surveys researchers have polled the music consumption habits of thousands of Swedes between the age of 15 and 74, and in their most recent report they find that music piracy continues to drop.
Since 2009 the numbers of people who download music illegally has decreased by more than 25 percent, and over the last year alone it dropped by 9 percent. The data further suggests that this downward trend is caused by the availability of improved legal services such as Spotify.
When Spotify opened up to the public early 2009, it took only three months before the number of Spotify users had outgrown the number of music pirates. In the months after that the number of downloaders continued to decline while Spotify expanded its user base.
Streaming services such as Spotify are now the most popular way to consume music. More than 40 percent of the participants in the survey now use a music streaming service, compared to less than 10 percent who say they download music legally.
About 23 percent continue to pirate music, but this number is dwindling.
“The long-term trend is a sharp increase in legal streaming while we see a reduction in illegal file sharing and downloading,” Music Sweden’s CEO Elizabet Widlund said commenting on the results.
“When 800,000 Swedes are willing to pay for streaming music, there is clearly a market for more legal players in the digital music market. We encourage diversity of music services as it will provide better conditions for both those who create music and those who listen to it,” she added.
Looking at the motivations for people to switch to legal services, participants in the survey cited “the range of music that’s released” as the primary reason (40%). Other explanations were the absolute increase in available music (30%), and the fact that legal services have become cheaper (24%) and simpler (24%).
Although the above is certainly good news for the music industry, it has to be noted that the ‘change’ to legal services is ‘fragile.’ The survey shows a slight change in the ongoing trend during the second quarter of 2011, exactly when Spotify announced that its free service would have some new limitations.
Although this change motivated some (15%) to sign up with a paid Spotify account, the majority (31%) said they would leave Spotify to turn to other streaming services, like YouTube, or file-sharing sites.
There is no doubt that, unlike music industry bosses have claimed in the past, there are indeed ways to compete with free. However, time is needed to find the right balance between giving music fans what they want, and secure a healthy revenue stream.
posted 25 Sep 2011, 18:07
The latest alpha release of uTorrent now supports integration with a variety of devices including the iPhone, iPad, PS3, Xbox 360 and Android hardware. This allows users to quickly sync downloaded content to these devices. Additional capability to convert videos and audio to playable files will become available later, but only to users of the upcoming paid version of the BitTorrent client.
With more than 100 million active users a month and a market share of nearly 50 percent, uTorrent is without doubt the most-used BitTorrent client.
Despite the success story that it is, the uTorrent development team hasn’t been sitting still in recent years. The user interface is continuously being updated and new features are launched on a frequent basis, such as the BitTorrent App studio.
Today we can add another feature to the list, as BitTorrent quietly rolled out support for external devices in the latest uTorrent alpha release. Aside from the usual bug fixes, the new release allows users to drag and drop downloaded files to Apple and Android devices, as well as the PS3 and Xbox 360 game consoles.
In addition, the latest alpha also shows the option to convert files into the appropriate formats supported by the various devices. However, TorrentFreak has learned that this tease was put in by mistake and that it will be removed in the next update.
While the device integration will become part of the stable uTorrent release in a few months, conversion will only be available for people who upgrade to the premium uTorrent version, the upcoming uTorrent Plus.
As is the case with all change, not all users are happy with the multitude of developments uTorrent has gone through in recent months. Some complain about bugs, others don’t like the new interface, and there are users who are not charmed by all the new additional features.
The uTorrent developers, however, believe that they are on the right track to making their software appeal to a wider audience. TorrentFreak was informed by BitTorrent Inc. that a lot of users specifically demanded device integration, as well as other changes that were implemented recently.
That there indeed is a demand from BitTorrent users for integration with mobiles and game consoles has been shown by uTorrent’s main competitor, Vuze. A year after Vuze added device integration millions of users had turned on this feature, and together they converted more than 100 million videos. Whether people are as excited when they have to pay for the conversion remains to be seen.
The latest 3.1 alpha is available for download now, for those who are interested in giving it a spin.
posted 25 Sep 2011, 18:00
In recent years Italy has taken several far-reaching measures to thwart online piracy, including a nationwide block of The Pirate Bay and BTjunkie. Building forth on this tough stance, lawmakers are now proposing several new measures that will put Internet users at risk of losing their connection after one alleged infringement. Even worse, these copyright complaints can be sent by anyone, not just the copyright holder in question.
In recent years the entertainment industry has been lobbying extensively for tougher anti-piracy legislation. So-called three-strikes policies, where repeat copyright infringers are disconnected from the Internet, are particularly high on their agenda.
France and New Zealand have already signed this three-strikes approach into law, and a recent proposal from the Italian government shows that they are considering doing the same. However, unlike we’ve seen thus far, the Italian plan is not exactly the graduated response that other countries have adopted.
One accusation is all it takes to lose your Internet connection.
The lawmakers suggest two articles that will amend current copyright legislation. Although some of the text is open to interpretation, it is clear that the draft suggests far-reaching anti-piracy measures.
One of the most worrying changes for the public is that Internet providers have to disconnect subscribers upon receiving a single infringement notice. The legitimacy of the notification is not verified and the appeal options appear to be limited. In addition, the proposal also allows “interested patries” who are not the copyright holder to file complaints. To prevent pirates from sneaking back online, ISPs are further required to keep a blacklist of all copyright offenders.
The one-strike disconnection proposal and the backlist are obviously worrying for Italian consumers, but the draft legislation also targets online service providers. For instance, the proposal specifically requires ISPs to censor content deemed to be copyright infringing. If they fail to do so, they face both civil and criminal liability.
In addition, all companies that provide services or sell goods online would have to actively prevent direct or indirect copyright infringement. This could spell trouble for Google, which refers users to a lot of copyrighted material through its search engine and hosts this content on YouTube. Also, it would require companies like eBay to check if users own the copyrights to the goods they sell online.
Needless to say, news of the proposed law has many Italians worried and has also reached Member of European Parliament Marietje Schaake who asked the EU Commission if Italy is allowed to go this far.
“Via the press it has come to my attention that the Italian Parliament is currently considering a draft law by which internet users can be disconnected and blacklisted if they have been accused on an intellectual property infringement. The accusation does not necessarily need to originate from the rights holder of the work in question,” she writes.
Schaake then explains that since the Italian proposal violates several EU laws and principles, she wants to hear the European Commission’s opinion on the issue. Schaake further asked the European Commission whether it’s possible to prevent member states from disconnecting citizens from the Internet.
Earlier this year a report from the UN’s Human Rights Council labeled Internet access a human right, arguing that laws which allow for the disconnection of Internet users are disproportionate and should be repealed. Nevertheless, it appears that the Italian lawmakers are determined to push their plan forward.