Garrett is as Garrett does

An autoblogographic view of things.

'Garrett is as Garrett does'

It’s because they do things like this…

May 8th, 2013
by garrett

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I was relaxing after a hard day’s work with a little Colbert on Hulu Plus. Suddenly, the screen goes grey, I see the Xbox UI Cancel button, and then I see the most recent picture of Baxter and Pebbles taken by the wife. After a moment of puzzled bewilderment from me and a squeal from the wife, I realized what had happened.

Unannounced and without prompting me – the Xbox user – the wife’s new phone-that-thinks-its-a-tablet had shared a photo. In the process of doing so it stopped the running program on the Xbox cold. Had I been playing a game . . . well, some little, easily smashed device would have to die to sate my anger.

As it turns out Microsoft added an interesting little feature in one of their dashboard updates – a feature that allows DNLA devices to take control at any time. And the kicker – in this age of privacy concerns and nearly every ‘sharing’ feature being used as a vector for some from of attack, they set is to ‘On’ as the default.

That’s right, if you haven’t gone into: System > Console Settings > Connected Devices after the latest dashboard update and explicitly turned off ‘Play To’ functionality, your Xbox can be hijacked at will by any remote that has access to your Local Network.

Normally, I’m pretty good about finding out the recent changes. I regularly comb through my privacy and account settings to make sure I’m not inadvertently releasing potentially embarrassing information to Big Data. ( You know, the nerdy cousin of Big Brother that no-one seems to notice. )

Anyway, just a heads up out there.

PS: It’s not paranoia if they are actually out to get you…

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Categories: Day in the Life of... · Electronics · GamingNo Comments

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