Why the U.S. government may soon start hacking consoles

What’s the latest way that terrorists may be communicating with each other? Apparently through their videogame consoles. While online games ofWorld of WarcraftandBattlefieldused to be the sole territory of aggressive gamers, homophobic middle schoolers, and all types of angry trolls, the Department of Homeland Security has another concern entirely,Foreign Policyreports. A $177,000 contract was posted by the Navy last February calling for the following:

  1. Provide monitoring for 6 new video game systems, a maximum of 2 of any type from any given vendor.
  2. Generate clean data (data that does not contain any identifiable information from real people) from new video game systems.
  3. Design a prototype rig for capturing data from new video game systems.
  4. Implement the prototype rig on the new video game systems.
  5. Provide data captured by the prototype rig, including packets delivered in PCAP format and disk images delivered in E01/EWF format.
  6. Provide used video games systems purchased on the open market. Used systems provided shall be likely to contain data from previous users.
  7. Survey console chat room technology and identify potential chokepoints where data may be committed to storage.
  8. Identify data storage points on used video game systems and attempt to demonstrate proof of concept.
  9. Extract real data from used video game systems.
  10. Provide video game system extraction software and/or hardware.

Like any form of electronic communication, the reasoning stands, correspondence through videogame consoles may abet criminal activity. Threat aside, gamers may want to be more cautious about the personal data they leave imprinted on their tech.

[via Wired]