Just days after Xbox Live was taken down by the group known as Lizard Squad, Microsoft has been caught out once again. This time though,, it isn't a case of services being taken away from users — instead, the software development kit for the Xbox One is being freely circulated online.
In fact, the group — known as 'H4LT' — were quick to distance themselves from the perpetrators of the recent Xbox Live and PSN outage. A tweet directed toward Lizard Squad asked "You had fun by taking down servers. Can we have fun for leak-*cough* giving out this?"
There seems to be a distinct difference in the reasoning behind H4LT's actions and those of Lizard Squad. While the latter seemed content with an all-out attack, H4LT are of the opinion that the work that they are doing is for a positive purpose — one tweet from earlier this morning suggested that referring to them as a 'hacker group' is inaccurate.
The group then went on to make a statement to TheTechGame when asked about the leak, stressing that they shared the files to encourage creativity within the community. According to H4LT's representative, the "squad's" intention is to make it possible to run homebrew applications on the Xbox One, and the SDK was leaked for these reasons:
We leaked it to the community because if something is shared then.. progress is achieved faster than alone.
Something kept between us will not achieve anything. Share it with the community = creativity and research. Shared is how it should be.
The SDK will basically allow the community to reverse and open doors towards homebrew applications being present on the Xbox One.
H4LT would seem to have noble intentions with their leak - or so they claim - but there are certainly questions to be asked as to whether the ends justify the means. Giving such broad access to the SDK will likely accelerate the possibility of homebrew for the Xbox One, but it does so in a way that could potentially cause more harm than good to the reputation of the scene at large.
Whether they like it or not, comparisons between H4LT and Lizard Squad will quickly be drawn as the story hits mainstream media. Given the way that the SDK has been circulated, not to mention the links between homebrew and piracy, H4LT is walking a fine line between being video game freedom fighters and out-and-out criminal "hackers" or whatever you want to label them or they want to label themselves.
What do you think about H4LT's leak of the Xbox One SDK?