Larry Hryb, Director of Programming for Xbox Live and better known to gamers as Major Nelson, has posted a warning on his blog about the perils of sharing Live accounts and cheating, and served notice that Microsoft is on to your tricks.

Referring to the practice of sharing Live account information with other gamers in order to artificially boost their rank and achievements, Hryb wrote, “While it may be appealing, in addition to violating the Xbox Live Terms of Use it can also result in you permanently losing your account. If that “friend” of yours decides not to return your account and buys a bunch of Arcade titles and movies on your account, there is nothing we can do except cancel the account since you willingly shared your information.”

“In addition to losing your Gamertag,” he continued, “you’ll also lose your Gamerscore, saved games and any points you have on the account.”

He also addressed the use of “nefarious techniques” to boost Gamerscores or obtain achievements by messing with the Xbox software. “Bad things will happen,” he wrote. “If you use tampered gamesaves to boost your achievements and Gamerscore, you may sign in to Xbox LIVE one day and discover that we have removed your Gamerscore. Once we do that, you will never be able to re-earn those achievements on that account. Even worse, you might have your account and/or console banned from Xbox Live.”

“As you can imagine,” he added, “we know how to find out if you do this and we do take action. And we’ll continue to do so.”

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