Following an earlier move to prevent cross region downloads, Microsoft has tightened the screws on cheats by banning all modified Xbox 360s from Xbox Live.

Machines are modified for various reasons including avoiding regional protection, use of pirated software or homemade applications and Microsoft wants them out.

In a move designed to “maintain a fair gaming environment for the large majority of gamers that play by the rules", Microsoft is targeting the modified machines rather than the accounts, and all modified machines connected to the system will now receive an error message ("Status Code: Z: 8015 - 190D").

"These users will not have their account automatically banned from Live, but they will no longer be able to access the service from the console they modified", reported Microsoft.

"We have stated in the past that customers can only enjoy access to the Xbox Live community through the use of a genuine, unmodified, Xbox console and we will continue to enforce this rule to ensure the integrity of our service, the protection of our partners and the benefits of our users."