PlayStation 4 may have helped Paris attackers communicate during the planning and possibly during the attacks themselves, according to reports.
Geek.com said the choice of the popular gaming system should not come as a surprise to non-gamers. The site said “it’s one of the safer options” for terrorist communication. Why, you ask?
“The authorities have been able to monitor standard communication channels (land lines, cell phones, email, internet browsing) easily for years, but the IP-based voice communication offered on the PS4 is much more difficult to listen in on, as is any peer-to-peer systems used,” the website reports.
To prove the theory, the site quoted sources in Brussels, Belgium, who say at least one PlayStation 4 possibly used by the Paris attackers has already been seized in the European capitol.
So what is the problem? Why is it so difficult to listen in on communications on a PlayStation 4? Did Paris attackers know something authorities did not? It appears so, according to Belgium Interior Minister Jan Jambon, who spoke with POLITICO Europe.
“The most difficult communication between these terrorists is via PlayStation 4,” he told the publication. “It’s very, very difficult for our services — not only Belgian services but international services — to decrypt communication that is done via PlayStation 4.”
Even though Geek.com is reporting a PlayStation 4 possibly used by Paris attackers was seized in Brussels — where POLITICO Europe is headquartered — the upstart publication is reporting the connection between the Paris attackers and a PlayStation 4 console have not yet been determined.
ISIS (also known as the Islamic State or ISIL), the group that has claimed credit for the deaths of 132 in the Paris terror attacks, could have been using PlayStation and other game consoles to plan and execute its plots for a while, according to the International Business Times.
The IBT said Edward Snowden released information on this possibility back in 2013, noting that the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency — both American intelligence outfits — were using games like World of Warcraft and Second Life to infiltrate terrorists organizations.
“PlayStation’s IP-based voice systems are difficult for investigators to monitor compared to traditional forms of communication such as mobile phones and computers. And terrorists could send messages to each other within PlayStation games without speaking or typing a word. A member of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, could convey an attack plan in Super Mario Maker’s coins and share it privately with another PS4 user. A player in Call Of Duty could shoot at a wall and write a disappearing message in bullets to another player,” the website reported.
Super Mario Maker is a Wii U exclusive and is not on the PlayStation 4 console, but the example is valid.
While PlayStation 4’s use by Paris attackers is garnering the most attention today, the same technology used to communicate in PlayStation games could also be used in other games and consoles. Most recently, Xbox One has been selling more units than the PlayStation 4. According to VentureBeat, part of this could be due to the latest addition of the Halo franchise, which first came out in the early 2000s.
The news of possible PlayStation 4 use by the Paris attackers comes on the same day French President François Hollande launched air strikes against ISIS in Syria. He had said the night of the Paris attacks that ISIS had declared war on France and his nation would respond accordingly. The Inquisitr reports the air strikes by the French air force are targeting Raqqa, Syria, a city known as an ISIS stronghold.
The Inquisitr reported the French air force had conducted at least 20 strikes in the Syrian city. There is fear of further terror attacks in the French capitol, with Parisians running for their lives after a false alarm earlier Sunday night, November 15.
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