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#1 Xenosis0

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:00 AM

So, I've been thinking a lot since the ban wave about creating an alternative to Xbox Live that essentially acts just the same way. There are still a lot of things I need to look into like whether or not this would breach any contracts or terms of agreement linked to the 360 and if its even possible.

Here's my general idea though.

There are currently two XBL alternatives out there being XLink Kai and XBConnect both of which limit the player to playing only system link via the PC using a program. While that is a pretty nice interface and it does have its benefits being free and all, its still very underused. (There are other VPN options as well but again that limits to just system link)

What I would like to theoretically create is an actual server network much like XBL, which the user would just connect to and play normally without the risk of getting banned (not really the main point) or even have to pay much of a fee (just to support server costs). So people would have those two added benefits of switching over to this network.

Now given all the setting up required I do believe it's possible but it would be quite a lot of work and there are several ideas I have. There may have to be an initial set up phase where the user would connect the 360 to a computer and there would be a program on the computer that would keep updated with the server. The program would have to most likely install a new/modified OS so to speak onto the 360 that makes it so it talks directly with my servers instead of XBL. Once the program has modified the 360 it would be able to connect directly to the internet on its own and would connect to my network.

At first it would be quite limited and features would have to be implemented over time but that first initial phase is the most important in terms of whether or not the whole idea is possible.

I think that in the same way you can download and install the NXE updates, you may be able to reconfigure the 360 with a modified dashboard.

There is even a possibility of contacting people playing XBL in this new network. When you create an XBL account you have to register it to an email and it creates a windows live account/MSN handle. The MSN handle is implemented into XBL and you can chat with your MSN handle over live.

Given that, support for an MSN account could be added to this dashboard allowing users to be able to add/chat to people playing XBL.

While this may seem like a minor detail I think it is extremely important in bringing about this new network as people wont want to switch over to it if it is completely disconnected from the current XBL.

An account importer could also be added to the program that will take a gamer-tag and look up the details on XBL to gather friends lists/games played/any other account specific details and link them to your new tag on the new dashboard. This is not a priority though.

I think that this could be a huge success if it is legit and works out and there is already a hell of a community of people that I'm sure would jump on the bandwagon and switch over were they given the option.

There is even possibility of utilizing P2P instead of relying on servers for connections between people. Many games nowadays do this on the PC. There would still have to be a server that the clients would initially connect to but would then be switched to a P2P connection between the clients. (I believe XBL does this similarly).

Anyways that's my idea so feel free to add/comment on anything or offer other suggestions. Rip it apart if you see a way; I consider it all constructive criticism.

#2 majinsoftware

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:54 AM

Well a replacement for XBL will never happen.

First off all the settings for network and server stuff is locked in the dash.
This can not be modified with out completely re-writing a new dash.
Hacking these settings from the current ms dash is illegal and 99% of consoles cant have it done as there are no known exploits to get the cpukey for recent dash versions.

So that only leaves the option of running a proxy the redirects and modify data. (Middle man as you can call it)
This also wont work as all data sent from the xbox is encrypted. Some one would need to find a way to crack this encryption. Only problem is once its cracked MS will change it yet again and every one thats unbanned will be updated and no longer be able to play.


So that leaves only 1 feesable option (not being a replacement as it wont be the same)
And that is using system link over a VPN but with a few improvements.

The first improvement would be to have a proxy run on each persons computer and have the xbox run with a VPN through this. But make it report back a fake ping. This will over come the system link ping limit and let people play from all over the world instead of only being able to play with people close enough to be under the limit.

So the best option will be to make a re-write of XLink Kai with the xbox 360 in mind.

#3 crashzero

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 10:17 AM

Are you shure that is impossible to clone XBL responses to create an alternative live? I think in the same partial solution to create an alternative live, but at first just simulate a good response from XBL that console it`s not banned to maybe have access again to HD.
I think of using a network card on PC for exclusive use of Xbox 360 to redirect the calls to XBL to a local server that simulate XBL responses.
Maybe create a alternative XBL with all theirs services can be impossible but some responses to unlock the HD can me possible.
I don`t see other solution now that MS can detect the moddified firmware. Can be really difficult to make but can be the ony solution for banned consoles.
I really think that your's ideia of create fake packages for make the ping less then 30ms should work too, maybe its time to exploit the network protocol.

#4 Xenosis0

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 10:23 AM

I guess I didn't do enough research but thanks for the information haha.

That is unfortunate that it would be nearly impossible to overcome to other problems on any permanent ground, but an improved VPN network definitely sounds feasible.

I've always believed in the underground staying underground anyways.

Anyways, instead of each connection being equal in a mesh network as is the case with leaf and hamachi, it may work better to designate a host/server per each vpn or segment part of a servers processing towards each separate vpn.

In that way, one would be able to see all of the available games in system link and by joining one you are joining the vpn associated with that game session.

Though that isn't necessary, given that there are going to be a lot of individuals who don't have as good of a connection, it can be broken up so they don't affect other players as much.

One gateway that everyone connects to initially and then is split into many sub networks.

Not sure if this is possible as I don't remember whole lot from cisco networking, but the client could transmit both a fake ping to override the system link requirement and a real ping to be placed in accordance with speed.

Thoughts?

QUOTE(crashzero @ Nov 10 2009, 04:17 AM) View Post

Are you shure that is impossible to clone XBL responses to create an alternative live? I think in the same partial solution to create an alternative live, but at first just simulate a good response from XBL that console it`s not banned to maybe have access again to HD.
I think of using a network card on PC for exclusive use of Xbox 360 to redirect the calls to XBL to a local server that simulate XBL responses.
Maybe create a alternative XBL with all theirs services can be impossible but some responses to unlock the HD can me possible.
I don`t see other solution now that MS can detect the moddified firmware. Can be really difficult to make but can be the ony solution for banned consoles.
I really think that your's ideia of create fake packages for make the ping less then 30ms should work too, maybe its time to exploit the network protocol.


Since it's encrypted even if one were to decrypt it and use that to create a fake XBL response on ones own machine, they could very well change the encryption the next day and it would have to be decrypted again on each xbox individually. Not a very realistic solution unfortunately as much as I wish it could be.

MS can't actually detect the modified firmware. It is currently believed that they are detecting the challenges/response timings from the drive. iXtreme out-performers stock firmware in that regard and so MS can detect it in that way.

#5 majinsoftware

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 10:38 AM

QUOTE(crashzero @ Nov 10 2009, 11:17 AM) View Post

Are you shure that is impossible to clone XBL responses to create an alternative live? I think in the same partial solution to create an alternative live, but at first just simulate a good response from XBL that console it`s not banned to maybe have access again to HD.
I think of using a network card on PC for exclusive use of Xbox 360 to redirect the calls to XBL to a local server that simulate XBL responses.
Maybe create a alternative XBL with all theirs services can be impossible but some responses to unlock the HD can me possible.
I don`t see other solution now that MS can detect the moddified firmware. Can be really difficult to make but can be the ony solution for banned consoles.
I really think that your's ideia of create fake packages for make the ping less then 30ms should work too, maybe its time to exploit the network protocol.


Yes im sure, It was attempted when the xbox first came out and before they were really strict on XBL data.
Also there is no unban code ms can just send you to re-enable the hdd. And if there was there would be no way to recreate this due to the encryption and it being specific to each console.
And finally MS cant detect the firmware, If you believe this go play in the other ban threads.


QUOTE(Xenosis0 @ Nov 10 2009, 11:23 AM) View Post

I guess I didn't do enough research but thanks for the information haha.

That is unfortunate that it would be nearly impossible to overcome to other problems on any permanent ground, but an improved VPN network definitely sounds feasible.

I've always believed in the underground staying underground anyways.

Anyways, instead of each connection being equal in a mesh network as is the case with leaf and hamachi, it may work better to designate a host/server per each vpn or segment part of a servers processing towards each separate vpn.

In that way, one would be able to see all of the available games in system link and by joining one you are joining the vpn associated with that game session.

Though that isn't necessary, given that there are going to be a lot of individuals who don't have as good of a connection, it can be broken up so they don't affect other players as much.

One gateway that everyone connects to initially and then is split into many sub networks.

Not sure if this is possible as I don't remember whole lot from cisco networking, but the client could transmit both a fake ping to override the system link requirement and a real ping to be placed in accordance with speed.

Thoughts?
Since it's encrypted even if one were to decrypt it and use that to create a fake XBL response on ones own machine, they could very well change the encryption the next day and it would have to be decrypted again on each xbox individually. Not a very realistic solution unfortunately as much as I wish it could be.

MS can't actually detect the modified firmware. It is currently believed that they are detecting the challenges/response timings from the drive. iXtreme out-performers stock firmware in that regard and so MS can detect it in that way.


Some very good ideas. A local server is the best idea, This would be better to take care of the fake ping then wasting bandwidth having an external client send that and its real one.
Realistic the best thing to do would be make the local server (proxy) take care of as much as possible and only transmit that which is utterly required to the external clients. This should help to bring down the speed requirement. And over come another of system links down falls for internet play.

System link is alot less optimised and uses alot more data then XBL as it was made to be used with 10/100mbit connection.

Yes a single gateway would be required to bootstrap off, But most important is the ping issue currently at hand. This needs to be addressed before any progress can be made on a working model.


#6 Xenosis0

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:12 AM

QUOTE(majinsoftware @ Nov 10 2009, 04:38 AM) View Post

Yes im sure, It was attempted when the xbox first came out and before they were really strict on XBL data.
Also there is no unban code ms can just send you to re-enable the hdd. And if there was there would be no way to recreate this due to the encryption and it being specific to each console.
And finally MS cant detect the firmware, If you believe this go play in the other ban threads.
Some very good ideas. A local server is the best idea, This would be better to take care of the fake ping then wasting bandwidth having an external client send that and its real one.
Realistic the best thing to do would be make the local server (proxy) take care of as much as possible and only transmit that which is utterly required to the external clients. This should help to bring down the speed requirement. And over come another of system links down falls for internet play.

System link is alot less optimised and uses alot more data then XBL as it was made to be used with 10/100mbit connection.

Yes a single gateway would be required to bootstrap off, But most important is the ping issue currently at hand. This needs to be addressed before any progress can be made on a working model.


Could it be set up to ping the loopback address as its connection test, and then connect to the gateway?

Also, majinsoftware, I'm not sure if you have seen these pages but you might want to take a look.

http://forums.xbox-s...showtopic=31406
http://www.xboxhacke...hp?topic=7592.0

crashzero and I believe it's possible to decrypt the key that is generated and sent through the kerberos packets. The xbox is what is generating the key which means that they wont be able to do any large scale encryption changes. If it is generated by software that they can update that's another story, but this is still a good lead I think.

Edited by Xenosis0, 10 November 2009 - 11:14 AM.


#7 majinsoftware

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:30 AM

Good to see you are doing some research into it.
MS can change everything on the nand, So a update would be able to change it.
They have done it before, Xbox live never use to be encrypted.

Xboxhacker.net has a few other threads of interest on the subject, I dont have a link to them tho as the sites going to slow right now for me to be bothered searching.

Its possible to decrypt the key, thats how the live logs are made and checked.
But the more its done the more reason for MS to use a harder method to crack which would make important things like live logs unavailable.

But on a large scale its not going to happen. To many variables for a program to do it and 99% of the users on this forum dont have the patients nor the skill to accomplish it manually.

#8 Xenosis0

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:51 AM

True enough.

I'm guessing it's also not possible for us to read/write what is on the nand?

I ask because MS I don't believe is able to modify their method of reading/writing information on the nand. That is more restricted to how the hardware is set up. So if one were to decrypt these packets and figure out what commands are being sent/received related to the nand, could we not simulate this process?

It would only have to be done once assuming they aren't able to change their methods of accessing data on the nand, only the level of encryption for the communication between their servers and the 360.

I realize that this is probably not possible still by any easy means but I ask more to educate myself in the hopes of perhaps stumbling upon something that hasn't been tried yet or at least to its fullest potential.

#9 majinsoftware

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 12:19 PM

Reading and write to the nand is only possible over the lpt/usb method for us, Or if you have a hacked xbox running linux you can flash it from with in that. Or with a usb update when you are running xell.

MS on the other hand have full access to it.
The update boots into the ram and can make any changes they want.
As does the dash with in limitations as it cant over write what its reading from.

To make modifications to the nand image you need your CPUKEY + 1BL KEY.
Which can be obtained by running xell with the j-tag hack. But only works on consoles before 8XXXX dash.
But once you know your cpukey it never changes as its peered with the cpu and the nand.

I dont believe they make direct modifications to the nand over the network but rather instruct the dash to via pre-set commands or via a update.

In theory you could decrypt the packet they are sending to trigger the ban flag on the xbox which stops the hdd. Then make a virus out of it and disable peoples xboxs.
But the usability of such things would be limited on the requirements of what details are need.
Surely enough you would at least need to know the console ID to trigger such a flag.

#10 Xenosis0

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 12:38 PM

QUOTE(majinsoftware @ Nov 10 2009, 06:19 AM) View Post
In theory you could decrypt the packet they are sending to trigger the ban flag on the xbox which stops the hdd. Then make a virus out of it and disable peoples xboxs.


I hope the goal would be the other way around if anything, haha.

And it is possible if you fight your banning that they can reverse it, which must mean that they can in fact send a command to either unban the xbox or at the very least return functionality to the hdd. There aren't really enough tests done yet to know for sure but from what it sounds like it may be possible to unban a console in the same way they can. Since you would have access to your own consoles system information you could reverse engineer(term used loosely) the virus and target yourself reversing the effects.

How is the EEPROM and the NAND connected?

If a banned console is marked banned by information in the NAND and replacing the EEPROM in a banned console with that from a good one unbans the console, does it not maybe clear the NAND of at least the banning information?

Making lots of leaps there haha

Edited by Xenosis0, 10 November 2009 - 12:40 PM.


#11 tracer2009

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 08:19 PM

i like the enthusiasm in this thread, nice to see

think we really need to get a mole inside microsoft!

seriously though the only thing i don't understand is why the old xbox has not been utilised more. seeing as there are so many people who have made software run on it in the past would it not be possible to make an app which could run on the old xbox and act as a server for the 360?

i hope the recent ban wave will push people to come up with a new solution, although i have seen a worrying amount of posts from people saying they will be buying new 360 consoles because they have been banned

#12 majinsoftware

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 02:24 AM

eeprom and nand are the same thing. And theres hasnt been a offical record of a console being un-banned during a ban wave. You get idiots coming on and saying "I changed back to stock firmware and im not banned now" but what do you expect from some one that joined the same day as they posted that. I dont even know if they is a un-ban command since the bans this time are different to all the other waves.

---

Because theres no point, If they could make a server run on the orignal xbox when not make it run on a computer. Would be cheaper and easyer to program as well as a computer being more grunty.


---

As Iv said before ill say it again, Fix the ping limit problem then you will open it up to internet system link games.

#13 Xenosis0

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 04:16 AM

I do remember reading somewhere that someone fought the ban and got their privileges returned. I believe there was enough evidence pointing towards that being true at least for one case. This of course won't work for everyone assuming it did at the very least work for that individual, but if someone can log the session to get the sequence of packets sent from live to the console that re-enables hard drive use (removes the ban flag), that could open up a lot of possibilities.

It might also be just as useful to log the session in which the console gets banned as it is probably very similar to the opposite.

Mostly hypothetical, but given that it wouldn't be too hard to log the sessions, I think its worth investigating.

Edit: http://forums.xbox-s...howtopic=634465

Edited by Xenosis0, 11 November 2009 - 04:26 AM.


#14 majinsoftware

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 06:40 AM

Thats a old ban wave tho, all that use to happen is they removed your console ID from the database. So then when your console connected it wasnt in the allow list. Which all they would have to do to revurse is re-add you to the database.

But now they are doing more then that. since they must send a command to the xbox which write the ban flag to the nand and disables some features.

#15 Xenosis0

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:24 AM

Ok, so it won't be so easy to intercept the command, but the idea is still the same. Unless the ban command can somehow be reverse engineered.




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