In light of the investigation of recent events, it seems that the Paris attacks were planned through PlayStation 4 consoles. Jan Jambon, minister of federal home affairs in Belgium has declared that Belgium police has seized one of such consoles near Brussels, and it starts to become clear that terrorists are communicating via online platforms that are very difficult to track.
As the world weeps after the tragic events of last Friday night, when 132 people were killed and more than 300 wounded in an attack claimed by ISIS, the police investigation has started. After seven attackers detonated themselves on November 13 and the eighth was shot by French police, authorities have started to raid different areas of the country.
The police are searching at the moment for another man connected to the attacks, Abdeslam Salah. However, the neighbouring countries have also sounded the alarm, and Belgium has arrested already the first suspects in Brussels.Among the objects that they confiscated was also a PlayStation 4 console, believed to have been used by the terrorists as a means to communicate and plan their attacks. Apparently a PS4 is very hard to track and monitor, even by the intelligence authorities.
The ISIS militants are communicating in-game, or even using visual methods to send messages, and this proves extremely difficult to identify. Since there are a lot of war-oriented video games on the market, it also becomes almost impossible to separate a real conversation from a gaming one. When playing Call of Duty for instance, gamers might talk about battle strategies that can sound a lot like terrorist plans.
Jan Jambon also stressed out the fact that the Belgian capital is the weakest in fighting against radicalization, as the city has only six police zones for10 municipalities. The surveillance community has warned that video game consoles are a safe haven for private discussions and thus for terrorists. When Edward Snowden leaked the NSA’s documents, an initiative for close monitoring of in-game discussions was also brought to light, as it was believed that terrorists used games such was World of Warcraft to communicate.
According to Mike Thompson, the information security director at Linus Security Solutions, the reason PlayStation is hard to crack is that it uses the proprietary operating system, and has its personal protocols and communication network, the PlayStation Network. We have all been complaining about privacy on social media, but if the Paris attacks were planned through PlayStation 4 consoles, maybe we should reconsider being more closely monitored.
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