It's a much smaller issue than the PlayStation Network nightmare, but gamers are naturally jumpy at the moment...
In the midst of Sony's PlayStation Network security breach, Microsoft has had to issue its own security alert today. On the company's Xbox Live Status page, the following warning has been issued:
"Users may receive potential phishing attempts via title specific messaging while playing Modern Warfare 2.
"We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience."
The problem appears to be restricted to one title, and is centred around the system's matchmaking process, which arranges online multiplayer gaming sessions. It seems to be a reasonably routine problem, but with fears over online security riding high, several industry news sources have picked up on it.
US games blog Kotaku has also reported that dozens of modified Xbox 360 machines previously banned from Xbox Live have been allowed back on to the service ? but only for a short time. Users who had 'modded' their machines to run unnofficial applications and pirated games found that they could suddenly sign in to the Xbox Live service ? even though they had previously been ejected in one of Microsoft's regular 'banhammer' sessions. However, shortly afterwards all the machines were reportedly banned again.
The speculation is that Microsoft may have been testing its infrastructure in the wake of the PlayStation Network hack, or that it was trialling its new Xbox 360 disc format, which is partially intended to prevent piracy by blocking the DVD firmware hack that's been exploitable on Xbox 360 for several years.