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Government Console Hacking


Only a few short days ago, Microsoft received some heat over hacker claims that user credit card information could be gleaned from old XBox systems. The concern is that hard drive based consoles are not designed with security in mind and have numerous files and locations where cached data may still contain personal, private and financial information. It has recently come to light the US Navy has contracted out a requirement to obtain similar information from used consoles (foreign of course) in order to collect potential intelligence from targets playing video games. After all, the gaming systems provide an excellent platform for communicating with cohorts across vast distances and logs may contain those details. The actual SOW can be viewed if desired.

Although the work implies targeting disposed consoles, the idea brings to light the age old question … why hack the hardened system when a weak platform is sitting right next to it. In this age of always on, Internet enabled devices like game consoles, TVs, DVD/BluRay, printers and appliances – why not gain access to those in order to monitor the traffic from the real target?

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