Hackers Place Bounty on X-Box Kinect
Whether it's catching a fugitive, getting a man into space commercially or cracking unsolved math problems, a bounty seems like a good way to motivate competitors to go the extra mile. Now add "crack Microsoft code" to that list.
On Wednesday, the DIY electronics shop Adafruit offered up a $1,000 prize to the first person who can crack the source code behind the X-Box Kinect module . Then, after Microsoft sternly warned against trying to do so, Adafruit raised the prize to $2,000.
"Don’t make us up it to $3k," reads the Apafruit website.
The Kinect uses a time of flight camera, basically an infrared version of sonar, to map out a room and the motion therein. The hackers at Adafruit were so taken with the uses beyond gaming for that system that they knew they need to crack it. Adafruit claimed their employees were too busy to do it themselves, and thus have enlisted the Internet to solve the problem for them.
Microsoft, in a statement to CNET.com, said "Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect , Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."
Harsh words, especially coming from a company that itself put a $250,000 bounty on the head of the black hat hacker who created the Conficker virus. Not so fun when you're the hunted, is it?