It was discovered by some rather ingenious users that there is unused code hidden within your Borderlands 2 save game files on Xbox 360, which, when unlocked, provides you with a Diablo 3-style hardcore mode. This in itself isn’t the interesting part, as it was merely left in there by developer Gearbox.
But it seems that activating this hidden gem does more than just unlock a new gameplay option; it also unlocks your Xbox 360 to malicious attack.
"Recently a few users have begun violating the Xbox Live Code of Conduct by using an external application to maliciously disrupt the experience and sabotage characters of legitimate Borderlands 2 players on Xbox 360," explains Gearbox on the game's forum.
Avoiding, for now, the dubious practice of game studios and hardware manufacturers claiming that users have no right to tamper with their own property (a lesson they all seem to have learned from Apple), it seems that a virus can be picked up when playing online that deletes your Borderlands 2 character’s profile.
To avoid this problem while a more permanent solution is sought, using the “Save and Quite” option apparently cuts the game’s internet connection before the virus can work its dark magic.
Admittedly this isn’t a huge loss should it occur, and nothing else about your Xbox 360 or its games is in danger, but it’s quite a milestone in malicious code history that a living room console has been hit. Perhaps if the manufacturers didn’t keep quite such a stranglehold on your property, you’d be able to take your own precautions against malicious code just as you do with your computer.
It feels like there’s a lesson to be learned here, but we’re not exactly sure who by or about what...