The Pentagon is apparently interested in learning how to hack into video game consoles.
Indeed, the US Navy recently paid a whopping $177,237.50 to Obscure Technologies to develop tools for the extraction of information from video game systems. The official description is as follows:
"[This is an] R & D effort for the development and delivery of computer forensic tools for analyzing network traffic and stored data created during the use of video game systems."
According to official documents cited by ZDNet, the Navy claims it wants to hack into video game consoles to lift "sensitive information" exchanged via messaging services.
However, the military insisted it would only deploy the technology against consoles located overseas, as US law doesn't allow it to be used on American civilians.
In any case, Obscure Technologies has been tasked with designing a prototype rig for capturing data from new video game systems, providing monitoring for 6 new video game systems and generating clean data (packets in PCAP and disk images in E01/EWF format) from new video game systems.
Additional terms of the deal include surveying console chat room technology, identifying potential chokepoints where data may be committed to storage, extracting real data from used video game systems and providing video game system extraction software and/or hardware.
Obscure Technologies was apparently able to clinch the lucrative hacking deal because it "is the only US company that appears to offer the purchasing of used computer equipment for access to the contained information as a commercial service."
The company also boasts "substantial experience in working with such systems" including a "lead scientist having previously reverse engineered the Microsoft Xbox."