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Xbox party chat security tightens up ahead of Xbox Series X/S launch

As hard as it is to believe, the next generation of Xbox consoles will release in just one week. One of the many things Microsoft is doing to prep for the launch is tightening up overall security, which happens to include a recent bug that surfaced with Xbox party chat. Rainbow Six Siege recently joined Game Pass, and hackers have found a way to ruin the fun for the sudden surge of players. They will send a “random party invite” to an unsuspecting victim, and if the player joins, the hacker can DDOS the player’s network through the IP address.

“With Rainbow Six Siege now on GamePass [sic], here’s a reminder to not accept random party invites!” a Reddit user warned. “Players can DDOS your network through this using your IP address if you join.”

Official comments on Xbox party chat

Redditor and Xbox developer Bill “Ridzilla” Ridmann acknowledged this issue in a comment to the original post. Xbox’s current solution is to remove player-to-player (P2P) voice connections for party chat.

“Hey all, we know this is a problem – we are actually phasing out P2P voice connections for party chat completely which we’ve been working on quite a bit in the background to stop this very problem,” Ridmann wrote. “We’ve been ramping up a larger percentage of parties to be completely server-based week over week (so you don’t make direct connections to other party members so they can not see your IP) and soon should have no more P2P based parties.”

In other words, Microsoft will make Xbox Party Chat strictly server-based, therefore protecting individual users’ IP addresses. While this change may frustrate some users, it should be a good thing for everyone overall. Except for the hackers, that is.

Undoubtedly the team’s goal is to fix this issue before the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, among other online security problems. Here’s hoping for a smooth launch on November 10.

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