According to a policy document obtained by MaxConsole, Microsoft has begun the process permanently banning all Xbox LIVE-connected Xbox 360 consoles playing unauthorised copies of Halo: Reach.

Halo: Reach was leaked online last week when hackers discovered the game hidden on the Xbox Marketplace – hosted there for press review purposes.

In a tweet, Microsoft writes, “As with all unauthorized play on Xbox Live, anyone playing any unauthorized title runs the risk of account permaban and console. Remember, legit store bought copy runs no risk of ban. Key word: UNAUTHORIZED. We have ways of knowing.”

One way of knowing, presumably, is that if you’re playing the game 21 days before its official release, you’re not playing a legitimate copy.