Xbox Live phasing out peer-to-peer chat for better security
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Xbox Live phasing out peer-to-peer chat for better security

Alex Kane
5 November 2020

Microsoft is taking steps to stop DDoS attacks.

The team at Xbox is upping network security by making a big upgrade to Xbox Live’s party chat feature.

An r/XboxOne post from nearly two weeks ago, by Reddit user KinoTheMystic (via VG247), warns: “With Rainbow Six Siege now on Game Pass, here’s a reminder [not to] accept random party invites.”

This is a method by which other players can potentially access your IP address and launch “DDoS” (distributed denial-of-service) attacks on your network. In highly competitive shooters, for example, this is how an opponent might try to take you offline mid-match, achieving victory by default.

During something like a GameBattles Call of Duty tournament or Trials of Osiris run on Destiny, that can be disastrous. But Xbox is moving party chat away from peer-to-peer connections to a server-based system to prevent this from happening in the future.

Xbox Live party chat update

“Hey all, we know this is a problem — we are actually phasing out P2P voice connections for party chat completely, which we’ve been working on quite a bit in the background to stop this very problem,” Bill Ridmann, principal software engineer at Xbox, writes in a reply to the thread.

“We’ve been ramping up a larger percentage of parties to be completely server-based, week over week (so you don’t make direct connections to other party members, so they cannot see your IP), and soon should have no more P2P-based parties.”

He added, “I’ve seen some concerns here, as well, related to parties and the mobile app — it’s always been the case if you’ve used the mobile app to join a party [that] the party becomes server-based, and your phone’s IP is never exposed to others.”

It sounds like this transition should be finalized in the coming months, as next-gen Xbox Series consoles roll out and consumers start to get their hands on them.

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