UPDATE: Or maybe not.
This is going to get worse before it gets better, I think. Word is quickly going around that a group of hackers known as "Infamous Clan" have seized control of Microsoft's Xbox Live service and that the company can't do anything about it. How is that even possible? I'm sure there's a long technical answer involved, but such details won't do anything to help all of the gamers who woke up this morning to find their Gamertags and associated purchased Microsoft points stolen. ZDnet has the story (with many other sources to follow soon, I bet).
"I have been involved with Microsoft Support for days on this exact issue and have spent many hours on the phone trying to prove to them that, first, my Windows Live ID was stolen and, second, the ID and password associated with my ID were changed; two actions that Microsoft swears can NEVER happen; and third that the thief was able then use my credit card information associated with one of my Windows Live ID accounts to purchase over $800 of Microsoft products."
Hack attacks seem to be part of our digital lives these days, but why in the name of Master Chief did Microsoft design the Xbox Live system in such a way that this kind of attack is possible in the first place? This has got to be an unforeseen bug or glitch in the way the service stores personal data. I really don't want to believe that Microsoft implemented whatever led to this issue on purpose. Faults and blame aside, right now Microsoft needs to get the customer service machine in gear and start repairing the damage. Get those stolen accounts disabled, reissue accounts and stolen points to customers, and get some of that hard-earned gamer good will back.