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The U.S. government has hired a California-based company to hack into video game consoles, such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, to watch criminals, especially child predators, and learn how to collect evidence against them.

The U.S. government has awarded a $177,000 contract to Obscure Technologies to develop tools that can be used to extract data from video games systems.
Homeland Security hacking into gaming consoles to obtain user data. Computer Security Blog !! THN Magazine and The Hacker News is Most Comprehensive resource in providing news related to Information T...
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Now we're going to need firewalls for our consoles.
firewalls are a joke for the nw3c they can retrive data off of a cell phone burned in a fire pit.
its time to secure our internet ,
The United States is a non-smoking nation! No smoking, no drugs, no alcohol, no women - unless you're married - no foul language, no red meat! And Definitely NO PRIVATE INTERNET USE!!!
I smoke marlboro reds eat rib eye at least one a week had my fair share of woman curse like a trucker unless im on tv or radio and have 26% of all surface content of the web secure thru 4mtterrabyte.
to vj mavog what you jst said about america is such a lie it almost made me laugh
To Yasmeen Cooks it's a quote from the movie Escape from L.A, with a little added bit. are you that stupid...
I’m ambivalent about this… until it causes screen lag. Then I’ll need to lawyer up.
Its a shame to assume that by default you are not secure and that big brother is constantly watching you. However you slice it, freedom seems to be a relative term when it comes to the US government. Such motivations as "security" and cyber-crime are often given when freedom needs to take a back seat :). In my humble opinion, there are better alternatives out there to protect yourself against malicious users. Giving up your privacy should not be one of them. Since when does the law apply to the government?
+Vj Mavdog It doesn't sound like you have really been to the US. - Where are we supposed to have shipped our single women off to? Perhaps some bar in Edinburgh where they smoke and get drunk while surfing porn over a steak dinner?
I don't care - get those damn online predators!
You were contracted by the government to do something new and all you got was $177,000?

Cool. By the time they've finished hacking all the consoles the PS4 will be out.
+Vj Mavdog Yeah, I must be that slow. But my response still makes me smile.
A couple points:
1. "Analyzing network traffic" does not equal "Hacking into your console over the internet".
2. "stored data created during the use of video game systems" refers to after the fact forensic analysis of seized equipment.

Conclusion: This isn't any different than the forensic analysis they would perform on our PC if it were seized. "Hacking into" does not mean unauthorized remote access into...
the homeland security have nothing else to do than play xbox and PS3 but at least they say they're "Obtaining User data" when they are probably trying to beat each other at getting M.O.A.B's on MW3....
Who noes?
+Adam Buchanan Are they asking me first? Nope? Then I guess it's unauthorized, because it's my private property and they have no right to it without just cause.

What do "online predators" do with consoles anyway?? Quick, call Chris Hansen!
Does sound like a excuse to play games. So what horsesh*t degree the feds gonna require for this to justify their $80K salaries?
only use the technology on consoles belonging to nations overseas
Im glad my kids dont play video games!!
Very Interesting I have to say as a friend had told me that Terrorist are using games consoles to communicate. This is just the answer to that threat. I have a PS3 they can look all they want as long as the do not delete my Game Saves. That is my two cents!
Hey government... I have a better cheaper idea... Why don't you get a subpoena which also proves you have enough evidence to warrant violating someones privacy and take it to Microsoft or Sony and they will give you the user information.
what have governments resolved to? Hacking!!!! WHAT
+John Ammon, To me it sounds like they're going to use these tool to analyze a console that has been confiscated through legal means, like a search warrant. I can acknowledge the fact that even in that case 'you wouldn't authorize' it, therefore wouldn't agree with it. However, it is legal.

I just wanted to point out that there's nothing saying that DHS plans to hack into your console from a remote location.
seems most of you put your privacy above the welfare of a child. now THAT is sad
Anyone else wondering why this should get a free ride past DMCA?
OH NO! They'll find out how much I hate Call of Duty: Elite!
Excellent point, Jason. I agree 100%. Subpoenas have been available long before the public was told we need all these invasions into our privacy. Let's focus on the criminals and leave the ordinary citizens alone. I've been a victim of crime several times and no one was ever brought to justice -- the cops never even really tried to find out who committed the crimes. How is this invasion of privacy going to make me any "safer" in my home? Answer -- it won't.
+David Shrontz i think its stupid. i know theres alot off Potheads online. but i haven't heard of Xbox or PS3 petifiles
+Dennis McCaie lol. im changing my bio tonight. instead of it sayin your someon i killed with a BARRET 50.CAL its gonna say your the government and you have nothing better to do than check out 15 year olds Bios lol.
It's just another excuse to invade privacy without the required legal steps that were supposed to be required by the Constitution (that old document that has so many holes punched it in that it looks like Swiss cheese now).
idiots. then the tech gets leaked and then someone makes a script for the kiddies.
+David Shrontz Another thing is they are "Hacking" Into our accounts. without are consent. isn't that illegal and unconstitutional?
What does privacy mean nowadays? Will game accounts be factored into our job search too?
+Matt Gallant I'm sure there on there... Not sure really how much of an issue it is. Probably very small but if you can catch them then do it but do it the right way... Collect evidence, get a subpoena and follow the laws.
+Adam Buchanan "The U.S. government has hired a California-based company to hack into video game consoles, such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, to watch criminals, especially child predators, and learn how to collect evidence against them."

This doesn't sound like they're using data collected from machines that were seized, this sounds like "Big Brother".
+Jason Holbrook true very true. it just blows my mind that congress can just invade a LEGAL contract with us and the network we are subscribed to.
I think reverse hacking is a great idea,
If you know they are watching can't you mask your ID somehow?
thats no problem with me
hope they become a good audience
Henry T
this is just amazing... 1984 anyone .... watch out for those thought bullets next !!
+Matt Gallant script kiddies hacking into consoles for the lulz and interwebz tbagging of ones ego.
Shouldn't everyone know about Big Brother at this point? Oh that's right, we're too dumb to read books anymore...
x-box users are also child-predators?
To everyone "approving" of this kind of pointless invasion of privacy, I hate to quote the prequel Star Wars trilogy, but as Bail Organa put it: "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause"
+John Egar good point. BTW did you know that in Major League Gaming that you can get Disqualified for t-bagging due to un-sportsmanlike conduct?
Woah. Wait. How would criminals get to people just with a game?!
i think its bullshit i cant have anything without the goverment being apart of it.....this is america home of the brave and free but their slowly gaining more control but people dont catch it where like cattle just a money sign just wait give it 50 years we will be just like and other country the president cant even stop it u think they dont control him to its not hard to put a gun to someones head see if there ideas and opinions dont change. people are to worried about stupied shit like whats on TV tonight then how shity this country is united states is shited on and it not the presidents falt its the people and this stupied ass war i mean where training iraq soldiers that have killed more of our men and women then I.E.Ds and the taliban i mean WTF turn that place to a sheet of glass and bring are boys home and take their OIL gas prices are rediculous .
A few of you have seen to many episodes of Doomsday Preppers...I think they already know how to hack your X-Box...
1984 is grate book you should read it.
Leo Lor
i got a ps3 control but is not like xbox360
hmm is this an aprils fool day joke
Everyone was,bothered,about Facebook compromising privacy. Now comes State sponsored hacking. State should be a model. Now every hacker will cite Government as the role model.
+Ramiro Almanza I think that is going a bit far... The New World Order may be a dream of some people but it will stay just that.. a dream. First off... Countries can't agree now let alone getting them to agree to be part of one world government... Look at the UN... There totally incompetent. Second Americans will not stand for that... Even the most brain dead among us will take up arms when they realize someone is telling them what to do.
Try to take people's guns and watch what happens...
Mike W
I guess the 4th amendment was thrown out while Bush was in office and they didn't bother to tell the rest of us.... So much for our Constitution. By the time enough people say enough is enough, there won't be any freedoms left to give up.
Henry T
lulz its called having security settings for the parnet to administer end of story nothing should require tax dollars that a parent could easily lock a kid out from or so on and so on... ridiculous ... its like asking for them to take away our freedoms with the patriot act
The worlds decision makers really need to catch up with online privacy.
Saw this the other day, was amused...
Big Brother sucks
What about our right to privacy? I know that there should be a balance between National Security and privacy. How do they decide who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? I was at a conference recently and a point was raised that any technology that can beam information can also beam information out! Scary thought! In Europe there is new Data Protection legislation coming in that highlights the "right to be forgotten!.
Well, there's Call of Duty teaching us how to kill, and then there's the Prison system punishing us for it, and YOUR tax dollars to thank them. God Bless America (Because we need it BAD). And that's why I'm not proud to be an american.
Actual crime leaves footprints. Have we grown too lazy to just utilize those to solve puzzles? Also I will admit right now that I am too old to be playing Cookie & Cream but SO WHAT? Buggar off.
+pat joseph Absolutely not. If you want to give up all your rights and freedoms for the pedophile/terrorist/bogeyman of the day, then that's your choice to give up those things. I for one would would rather be shot and hung before I allowed someone to use fear of what might happen to control my life.
soon there gonna be putting us in jail for powning on call of duty
how you gonna get evidence if were killing in video games?
the american ppl need to wake up and take a stand...something very grim is happening in our society.
+John Ammon, Did you read the actual sources for this post? The only source linked to from the article is who the contract was awarded to. Please read it.

My opinion is that The Hacker News is making a few assumptions not supported by the government contract they're sourcing as evidence.

I'm not a fan of Big Brother and I value my privacy. However, I'm also not a big fan of sensationalist blog posts that don't have proper sourcing of the claims being made. In fact, I think it's irresponsible.

If the contract talked about remote access technology, please trust me, I'd be flipping the FUCK out. But unless I misread it or overlooked something, it only talks about forensic analysis of heavy tamper resistant HARDWARE.
Anybody here think Uncle Sam is Santa Claus?

'Cause it's obvious now neither exist!
Wow i never new that there was pedophile/terrorist/bogeyman through a video game console. If the goverment is paying a company to hack into our stuff one day they will pay to hack into our pc phone etc..
There's not. That's the point. And they already do hack your pc , phone, etc,....
+Adam Buchanan Touche sir! I'll admit to just reading the sensationalist posting here on G+ and not the actual article. If what you say is true, then that's not hacking, that's just computer forensics, which IMHO, is fine.

Though the erosion of personal freedom is definitely something to be paranoid about. I think we both agree on that point. :)
This is nothing new! +Ramiro Almanza the government has been working towards martial law for a long time,and yes the ultimate goal is to initiate THE NEW WORLD ORDER! you will either conform or be terminated!
Why? Couldn't they have just asked Sony and Microsoft for the info?
Well as for Sony they could have just paid a 5 year old to walk through its user data, and Microsoft would have been first in line to hand them any info they wanted. Rights be damned.
Privacy! there is no such thing anymore! so you better get used to it! if you have nothing to hide then you should not be concerned about it.
not a huge surprise - there is a lot of funky stuff out there im sure.
or when u'r tax dollar's come 2 arrest u 4 some strange B/
+John Ammon, And I'll admit that I only read the whole thing because I was saying in my head "Holy shit! That's a ballsy stance for the Govt. to take publicly". I read it because it seemed strange that the Govt. would have to "Hack" their way in.

It's well know that Govt. (not just US govt.) wants to work with business to build in 'legitimate' back doors to the software we use. Skype is a perfect example of a soon to be back-doored software. Blackberry's network is another example in India. So, I'm aware that invasion of privacy happens by many governments. I don't approve.

At this point I just want to feel confident in knowing what is speculation and what is 'real' with regard to legit back doors and remote vulnerabilities. Hell, I don't even own a console but this topic is important to me.
+pat joseph The history of governments using tactics like this, under scare tactics "Won't somebody think of the children!" have historically been ABUSED against citizenry. Time and time and time again.

The us mail is no longer owned by the govt. It it's privately owned
I have it all. Wireless Internet. Xbox with kinect. Wii, high def tv's etc. Anyone with half a brain can "tune in" to my frequency. And you know what, I don't care, in fact, I paid for all of it and installed it myself. If I wanted privacy I would have dug a hole in the ground and practiced meditating. I probably wouldn't be on Google + commenting either.

Seriously, I do care about privacy, but technology is changing it! Like it or not. I would rather have advances in technology and work out the details later.
y would they do that it is stupid their just kids they will learn
wow thats... the only thing i can say is wow
that would be nice and still keep children safe.
well now i feel totally violated their gonna watch me play to see if im a creeper?
Get real people big brother has been doing it for some time now, the statute allowing them to do it in secrect is running out so they have to cover their ass against the freedom of information act
This will help keep kids safe, but less privacy...:/
haha, I'm sure the government will stop criminals by looking at my fifa 12 stats.
Henry T
Quentin is sort of right, all of our new TV's are basically computers and can easily send back video of the people watching it or in the same room as it for that matter. Even when they are off(as of a certain year and later) they record you so unplug them if you hang out in the TV area a lot... btw in respect to this I bet this is true for most computer moniters as well dont know for a fact on that one though.
If they're looking for criminals just hack the guys with numb3rs in their tags. They can't be trusted.
They also tried to pass SOPA and PIPA claiming child pornography. Ahhh emotions and how easily we've forgotten Kony 2012! Ridiculous. Remember these times cause their end game is lock down! Remember this time.

This is all about control, if they gain somehow access to your consoles or network data then they can see accounts, messages, internal network, etc. This will affect any house, office, and bussiness that have a console connected to the internet
It's all just misdirection. They say they're doing it to catch pedos, but everyone knows sites like backpage, 4chan, and yahoo chat rooms are littered with pedos. They could care less and have never done a thing about it. People communicate on consoles and they simply want to make sure you and now even your children are "drinking the kool-aid".
i get why they do it, but its an invasion of privacy. there are some things that people prefer to be kept private, and they should be allowed that right.
Repeal patriot act, get rid of naked body scanners and TSA, and tell the government to get out of our lives. We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and this definitely isnt making life happy is it.
we r so obsessed with sex and who is doing it and where and when i know, we all know there r things u do not do! However looking through peoples toys isnt the answer either. It sounds like someone has been shamed and blamed and has issues that r not my own. I think they can find other means to this problem and not turn our toys of enjoyment against us. yes they have certain people they look at (NOW) the next thing will b something else they dont like and who is to say once they have this tech. they wont come to your house.
Big opportunity for super hero want to be's.
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