Brute Force Attack Xbox 360 Parental Controls


The Xbox 360 has the option of parental controls. It limits the rating of games which can be played on the system. [Oscar] didn’t really need to remove the lock-out. It was simply an interesting proof of concept for him. In the image above he’s holding up a Vinciduino board. It has an ATmega32u4 chip that can brute-force attack the Xbox 360 parental code (translated).

We’ve seen quite a few of these attacks lately. Like the recent iPad pin attack this uses the microcontroller to emulate a keyboard. As you can see in the video, [Oscar] first navigates the menu system to the unlock code screen, then plugs in his device.

The unlock screen calls for a four-digit numeric PIN. That’s a total of 10000 possible combinations. It looks pretty slow in the demo, but according to his calculations the worst case scenario would still break the code in less than seventeen hours. Apparently there’s no lock-out for the max number of wrong codes.

11 thoughts on “Brute Force Attack Xbox 360 Parental Controls

  1. a simple nand dump and any program to read the 360’s nand will give you the reset code, also just call microsoft and give them the serial and they will give you the reset code to. but ignoring that its pretty impressive

        1. Yep – it all resides in the SMC Config. MAC address, DVD region, CPU/GPU/RAM temperature thresholds and Parental Controls are all in there. There’s also power / vcs configurations but best not to mess with those.

  2. why should there be a lock-out for the max number of wrong codes ?
    it’s just a parental control, not protecting any vital data.
    if a kid tries to enter the code, and it locks, the parents are locked out too.
    and if there is a way to reset it, the kid will figure it out.

    besides, any kid that is able to bruteforce it’s way into the console with an arduino has proven itself worthy of unlimited access ;-)

  3. good old days. I remember when I was 9 my father used to lock my pc with a password. And he often changed it because once I discovered what it was.
    So I just installed a keylogger and always had access and he just gave up =)

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