The U.S. government has been concerned for some time that online gaming forums and consoles could be used in nefarious ways, both by potential identity thefts and by terrorists. In view of these concerns, it recently awarded the first of a series of contracts related to gaming systems to Obscure Technologies. It has been hired to create hardware and/or software tools to hack into gaming consoles. These tools will be used by the government on systems located outside the U.S. The intention is to investigate pedophiles that may be using these services as a means to target their victims. The U.S. also wants to be able to target potential terrorists communicating using the systems.
In order to avoid violations of domestic law, consoles from outside of the U.S. will be purchased for analysis and testing. As of now, it is unknown how much of a “data trail” is left on gaming consoles. However, given the increasing use of this category of devices and their ever-increasing functionality, they are becoming a computer alternative or replacement. As such, users often enter credit card data and other personal information into them, which information may be more vulnerable than suspected.
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