Xbox Series X: hacker threatens to 'leak everything' about this console feature

The graphics source code will be posted online unless hacker gets paid

Xbox Series X console
(Image credit: Xbox)

Since the Xbox Series X was unveiled last year, Microsoft has revealed the hardware specs in full, and even launched a new website for the console. But some information it would rather not be made public is under threat of being leaked, thanks to a hacker who claims to have GPU source code with a $100m price tag.

AMD, the manufacturer of the console's rumoured GPU, was compromised when the woman stole the graphics source codes for the company's Navi 10, Navi 21, and Arden GPUs. Having already leaked a portion of the code online, she's threatening to "leak everything" if she doesn't get a buyer. Microsoft is rumoured to be using the Arden inside the Xbox Series X, so this security breach is  huge deal for the tech giant.

The hacker says she "found AMD Navi GPU hardware source codes in a hacked computer," and after poking around herself, retrieved code for AMD's Navi devices, as well as the Xbox Series X's Arden GPU. She hasn't spoken to AMD and has no intention to, fearing repercussions and adding, "so why not just leak it to everyone?"

She claims that one "source code packet” has been leaked online - something that AMD confirmed in a statement:

"At AMD, data security and the protection of our intellectual property are a priority. In December 2019, we were contacted by someone who claimed to have test files related to a subset of our current and future graphics products, some of which were recently posted online, but have since been taken down.

"While we are aware the perpetrator has additional files that have not been made public, we believe the stolen graphics IP is not core to the competitiveness or security of our graphics products. We are not aware of the perpetrator possessing any other AMD IP.

"We are working closely with law enforcement officials and other experts as a part of an ongoing criminal investigation."

The hacker has threatened to "leak everything" if she doesn't find a buyer - or at least someone willing to pay her not to do it - and values her source code stash at $100m. But AMD doesn't seem to be willing to do business; it's doubling down, meaning that either it's incomplete source code in the hacker's possession, or the information isn't a security threat, and won't reveal any company secrets to competitors.

At the time of writing, Microsoft hasn't commented on the situation, but AMD will have presumably spoken to affected parties before making a statement. We'll have to see if the person taking responsibility is bluffing, or if they back down for fear of the consequences. 

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.