U.S. Navy Hacking Used Consoles

Hevva

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Aug 2, 2011
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U.S. Navy Hacking Used Consoles




The Navy is developing technology designed to retrieve "sensitive" information from used games consoles.


According to a recent listing on the U.S. Government's credit card and personal details on any old 360s [https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=fa7296a2e0980fe24aa72c919a665b44&tab=core&_cview=0].

At the moment, the project forbids any hacking into consoles owned by American citizens living in the U.S. Obscure Technologies was chosen to carry out the work as it is apparently well-versed in console cracking, having previously "reverse-engineered" an Xbox 360. "Analysis of the game systems requires specific knowledge of working with the hardware of embedded systems that have significant anti-tampering technology," reads the Navy's notice. "Obscure Technologies has substantial experience in working with such systems."

Additionally, the Navy has no intention of keeping its outsourced Wii-scraping secret. Once the project is complete (Obscure Technologies' contract expires in July 2013), the Navy intends to share any results of interest and some of the hacking software it expects to develop with academics and associated publications. By the looks of things, however, any hacking hardware built by Obscure Technologies will be passed on only to Homeland Security's Science and Technology branch.

It's strange to think that while a ten year-old is busy berating you online that somewhere else on the network criminals could be sending messages to each other about upcoming illegal acts (much like how the wannabe Islamic terrorists in British film Four Lions attempt to hide their bomb-planning from the authories by communicating via a penguin-based version of Habbo Hotel, a scene which is based on recent realities). I wonder what they'll find on used Wiis? Do Pokémon with obscene names count as security threats? Regardless of anything else, expect the information released by Obscure Technologies next year to be, well, interesting.


Source: LiveScience [http://www.livescience.com/19306-military-hacks-game-consoles.html]








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gigastar

Insert one-liner here.
Sep 13, 2010
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This is just one of those things where if you got nothing to hide, you got nothing to worry about.

Unless the mining tool went public, then things would be slightly different.

Also why is the Navy doing this? This is something i expected to be developed by the FBI or the Air Force.
 

Zen Toombs

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Nov 7, 2011
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gigastar said:
This is just one of those things where if you got nothing to hide, you got nothing to worry about.

Privacy is a thing, and to violate privacy has disastrous consequences and implications.
also, apparently this is youtube day for me.
 

Treblaine

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Jul 25, 2008
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Who wants to bet this starts as an Anti-Terrorism endeavour but once the government has this data several years down the line EVERY department will want it, that Universal Studios will be suing the government to reveal this data so they can sue people.

There needs to be congressional and legal protections that evidence collected from one crime cannot be used in another criminal investigation without due process and DEFINITELY not have it be used in any civil case.
 

VonKlaw

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Jan 30, 2012
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Love how the project says they can't do it to US citizens but the rest of us can go fuck ourselves. You're not doing much to make us like you Mr. American government.
 

gigastar

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Sep 13, 2010
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Zen Toombs said:
gigastar said:
This is just one of those things where if you got nothing to hide, you got nothing to worry about.

Privacy is a thing, and to violate privacy has disastrous consequences and implications.
also, apparently this is youtube day for me.
I never said it didnt, but this is obviously something that can be avoided by taking care to destroy your old consoles, just like that thing with hackers being able to retrieve personal information off such second hand consoles.

After all, they cant mine anything if the major working components of your console are in a hundred teeny little pieces and scattered throughout the scrapyard/dump/landfill/river/lake/sewer.

After all, i find taking things apart to be much easier than putting things together.
 

draythefingerless

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Jul 10, 2010
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seriously guys, cold war is over. chill the fuck down. i doubt the next airplane hijackers do their business dealings in fucking xboxes.
 

ResonanceSD

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Dec 14, 2009
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Land of the Free, home of the brave? The ACLU is going to have a field day.


Oops, read it properly,

Well, Mr OR Mrs/Ms/Miss American Navy, this is why it's popular to bag the US, even today. You got rid of Bush, sure, but you still act like international douchebags ^_^ some of the time.
 

Tireseas_v1legacy

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Sep 28, 2009
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After I read that the US Navy used PS3s and networked them into a single supercomputer, nothing really surprises me anymore...

Also, let this be a lesson to any gamer out there: buy game cards from the 7-11 and you never have to worry about your credit card being found during a hack.
 

Durgiun

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Dec 25, 2008
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And in the great scheme of things:

''Nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care.''
-Carlin

Team Amer---Sorry, the U. S. Navy can go fuck itself.
 

Zen Toombs

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Nov 7, 2011
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gigastar said:
Zen Toombs said:
gigastar said:
This is just one of those things where if you got nothing to hide, you got nothing to worry about.

Privacy is a thing, and to violate privacy has disastrous consequences and implications.
also, apparently this is youtube day for me.
I never said it didnt, but this is obviously something that can be avoided by taking care to destroy your old consoles, just like that thing with hackers being able to retrieve personal information off such second hand consoles.

After all, they cant mine anything if the major working components of your console are in a hundred teeny little pieces and scattered throughout the scrapyard/dump/landfill/river/lake/sewer.

After all, i find taking things apart to be much easier than putting things together.
Accepted and very true, but that doesn't change that the idea that "if you have nothing to hid you have nothing to worry about" is incorrect.
 

Kopikatsu

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May 27, 2010
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Hevva said:
It's strange to think that while a ten year-old is busy berating you online that somewhere else on the network criminals could be sending messages to each other about upcoming illegal acts (much like how the wannabe Islamic terrorists in British film Four Lions attempt to hide their bomb-planning from the authories by communicating via a penguin-based version of Habbo Hotel, a scene which is based on recent realities)
What the what?

Also, there is a typo in thee. 'Authories' should be 'authorities'
 

viranimus

Thread killer
Nov 20, 2009
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Ok, this is more viable than people are giving it credit for. For example consider the PS3 with its web browser capability. A browser I might add that does not conform to atypical standards like chrome or firefox transferred into a non windows, mac, or linux OS. In a way people could use consoles in this manner to create a slightly more secured shell for communication.

For example PShome. It might be risky for terrorists to send direct emails to each other to communicate their plans for risk of tripping a CARNIVORE alert, but Say they interact via PShome the data itself is going to be buried under service layer under service layer till scanning protocol would be rendered useless.

Now granted in that example, theres like no chance of the navy getting their hands on a terrorists PS3, but the point is, it IS a usable medium in that fashion, so in that respect it does make sense to look at it as a potential tool.\

Its definitely an issue more nuanced and subtle than people are giving it credit for.
 

laserwulf

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Dec 30, 2007
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Once knowledge of the file structure of the consoles' local storage is established, I can't imagine the list of useful data would be very large: name, contact & billing info, browsing history. It's not like a PS3 has an email application, much less a POP3 one. At that point, it would be more of an issue to subpoena info from the pertinent websites.

This story isn't anything bigger & scarier than the Navy/Army/Police/etc. learning how to extract data from something like a smartphone. Less, actually, due to the specialized nature of gaming consoles.
 

Yellowbeard

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Nov 2, 2010
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VonKlaw said:
Love how the project says they can't do it to US citizens but the rest of us can go fuck ourselves. You're not doing much to make us like you Mr. American government.
That never stops being hilarious. Like when the US government gets flak for the strike on that muslim guy in Yemen, or authorizes the indefinite military detention (without trial) of citizens and everyone's horrified...except for all the idiots who voted for it, obviously...giving us all that nice moral backwash of "Oh right, NOW it's horrible, because now you'll admit doing it to American citizens too."
 

Bazaalmon

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Apr 19, 2009
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What? Why does my credit statement say that I bought three fighter jets and an aircraft carrier? Damn you Navy! *Shakes fist*
Seriously, what a weird and possibly shady practice. I don't think they'll actually accomplish anything important with this though.