The American Bear

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Department of Homeland Security contract seeks to ‘hack’ game consoles to obtain user data

Der Homeland Securitat just keeps whittling away:

Anyone who has ever played a few games of Call of Duty or Halo online knows that communities like Xbox Live aren’t exactly models of good behavior. But the federal government believes the occasional bursts of profanity may not be the worst of what’s going on according with consoles, and it wants a way to dig deeper.

According to forensic experts, pedophiles are increasingly using gaming systems to exploit children, while terrorists are using it for communication. With this evidence, a contract was awarded on April 5 by the Naval Supply Systems Command to Obscure Technologies for the research and development of “hardware and software tools that can be used for extracting data from video game systems.”

With today’s practice of owners jailbreaking consoles in order to play pirated games, gaming companies have fought back with hard-to-break encryptions. As a result, the extraction of data, according to the contract, is a rather complex process and one that the Department of Homeland Security believes can only be achieved by Obscure Technologies. For the small San Francisco computer diagnostics and forensics company, likely with sales under $500,000 and less than five employees, the contract award was for a sum of $177,235.50.