How Video Games Could Send You To Jail (Or Get You Out)

I call my next witness to the stand: Xbox 360.

Security consultant Brandon Nesbit is due to give a presentation at the DEFCON security conference in which he will tout why video games could be an untapped goldmine for police investigations.

The key lies in that modern consoles now hold a wealth of information from game saves to video and photo files. Add an internet connection to the mix and the data becomes even more useful. Nesbit explains;

“For example, if someone is trying to prove that Suspect A was running an attack against a World of Warcraft server, there will be logs to indicate that fact within World of Warcraft.”

Conversely, if you find yourself in court on charges of, say, burglary, you could use the fact that you were preoccupied with Super Street Fighter 4 on the evening in question and you earned an achievement in the process. You would then be able to use Capcom’s servers and Sony/Microsoft’s trophy/achievement data as evidence to support your case.

It essentially means that consoles could soon be treated in a similar way to PCs in a criminal investigation, which in turn suggests that the days of video game consoles being regarded as ‘just toys’ could well be numbered.

Brandon Nesbit will make his presentation on 1st August 2010.

Source: SecurityWatch, via: Kotaku

24 Comments

  1. It could come in handy, but what proof lies there that YOU were the one who earned the trophy/achievent and not your brother/sister/father/mother/kid-next-door.
    So I don’t think this is consistent

  2. “Yes, my friend, all you have to do is play my Games while i go out in these black clothes and Ski mask”

  3. Er.. what if someone else was using my console and won the achievment?

    • Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell them…

    • That was my first thought too, the only way this could really be used in evidence is if the game involved some kind of video and/or audio feed that could be used to identify it being you – but I would assume that sort of thing isn’t stored on the server? Unless of course you were using a game like EyePet or EyeCreate that can record your image in-game…

      Still, I love the idea of your defence being based around earning a Platinum trophy on the night in question lol

  4. So all i’ve got to do is have my mrs stay indoors and play my playstation when i rob the bank and i’ve committed the perfect crime :-)

  5. actually it could be a case if you play Buzz and show your Buzz-Face :D

  6. The prosecution could just as easily state that the evidence is not reliable as anyone within the household could have booted up the PS3 for a game.

    • This happens all the time with PCs. I was a computer forensics investigator for 2 years and the officers constantly ask if X went on this site or made that transaction. We always have to say the computer was used for this or that but we cannot say who was using it. At the end of the day, without a camera recording them sat at the machine, it’s almost impossible to say for sure who was using it and it comes down to providing as much evidence as possible like IM apps that were logged in but without the password remembered and banking websites etc.
      .
      Sadly, very few criminals use biometric log ins

  7. I liked the subtitle :)

  8. Think of the unstoppable crime ring we could set up on here with this knowledge!

    • can i be the one staying at home and play games to cover you guys?

  9. You could use your PSP and remote into your PS3 and win a trophy in..er.. something that suports remote play – WHILST YOU ARE ROBBING A BANK!

    • “Damn.. I shouldn’t have picked the Bionic Commando: Rearmed insane difficulty trophy for this! Hang on guys!”

    • Pixeljunk Monsters it is then!

    • .DeTuned.. PERFECT ! (if it was supported by remote play.. :()

  10. WHAT !
    A DEFCON meeting and a WoW example. Is it April 1st today ?!

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