“Hacking the Xbox” ebook released for free in honor of Aaron Swartz

March 15, 2013

Hacking the Xbox is a great technical book for those of you who want to understand how a console is hacked from a hardware point of view. For those of us who have been focusing mostly on software, this is also a great introduction to the other side of the force, and a great introduction to hacking in general.

With lots of pictures and very specific examples of how he proceeded, Andrew Huang (a.k.a. bunnie) explains how the first Xbox was hacked by himself while he was a student at MIT. Although Security techniques on consoles have dramatically improved with time, the book and its explanations are still very relevant today.

This is definitely a great book, one of the handful I would recommend to anybody who asks me “how do people become console hackers?”.

Maybe even more relevant today, the book has a full chapter describing the legal trouble Bunnie ran into when he considered publishing his work. It’s on this topic that he focuses his homage to Aaron Swartz, computer programmer and internet activist, who committed suicide 2 months ago at the age of 26. Swartz committed suicide while he was being prosecuted by the U.S. government. I’ll let you google for details, as I don’t want to start an ideological debate today.

Andrew Huang emphasizes on how the US legal system is impacted by money and how this prevents to really let the “right” prevail eventually.

You can read Andrew Huang’s open letter, and download “hacking the Xbox” pdf here:


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