The U.S. Navy recently hired an outside contractor, Obscure Technologies, to develop computer forensics tools capable of analyzing network traffic and stored data on gaming consoles.
The contract, valued at $177,237.50, calls on Obscure Technologies to create hardware and software tools that can be used to extract data from video game systems, compile a collection of data (disk images; flash memory dumps; configuration settings) extracted from new and used video game systems, and prepare a 10-20 page report including the following:
Detailed accounts of issues involved in extracting forensic data from a series of game consoles, technical information regarding how information can be extracted from video game systems, any engineering decisions that were made and why, what work remains to be done, and any failings of the approaches followed.
“This project involves furnishing video game systems, both new and used, and creating prototype rigs for capturing data from the video game systems,” reads the Navy’s official listing.
The project seeks to create these tools for use by the United States Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology.
Obscure Technologies was awarded this contract, the Navy claims, because they appear to be the only U.S. company in the business of purchasing used computer equipment for the purpose of accessing the data stored within. The Navy’s justification and approval report also notes that Obscure Technologies lead scientist has experience reverse engineering the Microsoft XBOX.
You can find the Navy’s justification and approval document here.