Belgium federal home minister suggested that PlayStation 4 could be a tool for ISIS to plan attacks by presenting itself as a secure way of establishing connections. What has been turned into a benefit for us in terms of privacy could be used as a means to discuss the more worrying topics that lead to tragedies.
Following the Paris attacks on November 13th that left 132 people dead and around 300 injured, investigations in Brussels have also fallen into the center of attention. This is due to the fact that officials believed the first steps of the attacks were planned in Belgium’s capital city. According to federal home minister, Jan Jambon, Brussels might be the weakest link while fighting against radicalization.
Evidence found included a PS 4
Police investigators went through several suspected terrorist bases. Now it appears that that the popularity of the PlayStation 4 might have had something to do with it. This suggestion arrives after several raids around Brussels collected evidence, which included at least one of Sony’s console.
According to Jambon, PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than popular messaging apps like WhatsApp. It becomes an excellent tool for ISIS terrorists to communicate through the multiple ways the console offers. There are many manners that gamers, and others in turn, could turn the innocent device meant for entertainment into a tool to covertly plan their attacks.
There is messaging through chat, voice chat, and, one even more difficult to monitor, in-game chats. Be it playing ‘Call of Duty’, or any other game that provides communication means, they could have been effectively used to slip by detection.
This isn’t the first time gaming has been suspected as being used as a tool by terrorists. In fact, when Edward Snowden infamously leaked documents of the National Security Agency (NSA) regarding spying programs, it included something similar. They revealed that various NSA agents were logging into World of Warcraft (WoW), monitoring chats, and attempting to understand if they were being used by terrorists.
Consoles have a history of privacy issues
Back in 2013, both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One featured with privacy concerns. It was suspected that organizations could spy on users through the audio and video sensors. Later on, it was reassured by Sony that their consoles offer their customers full control of their environment or what they share with others. What they say remains among themselves.
The secure technology could now be used by terrorists, such as ISIS, as means of communication.
According to Ty Miller, who is a director of information security at Threat Intelligence, the PlayStation 4 is “inherently difficult” to track. This is because changing identity, location, and switching through many games is easy. Users can change their location from one place to another, pick another alias, and move onto other games for communication. This makes it potentially an easy tool to take advantage of.
However, how this will affect gaming is unknown.
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