It was revealed this week that Microsoft found ways to track down people who leaked internal info and broke NDA agreements with some ingenious tactics. A Twitter user by the name of Cullen, who previously worked as an engineer at Microsoft, exposed one of the best-kept secrets during the Xbox 360 era that the company used to track down people who broke NDA’s and leaked materials internally. And that was to make your Xbox’s serial number trackable through a special embedding process. One of which was having it broadcast int he lower-right corner in the rings of the screen.
One of the most fun jobs I ever had was figuring out how to embed the serial number of your Xbox 360 into rings emanating from the bottom right, so we could track and identify leaks pic.twitter.com/i8knGgMTvz
— Cullen (@cullend) December 9, 2018
The waves that you see are actually a code when anyone who has the cipher can break down and determine what Xbox it came from. Both Cullen and current Xbox employee Jason Short confirmed that this system was used not only to capture those who broke NDA’s from betas and other pre-release materials but also to catch those in the company who leaked information to the press and other sources. Pretty ingenious way of stopping people from messing with your games. And a lesson to current gen users who get stuff in advance… there’s always someone watching.