With all the controversy and flack that video games receive, it seems that they can be used for good. Federal Agents are using the Playstation 3′s processing capabilities to catch child pornographers. Senior special agent at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center, also know as “C3″ had this to say,
Bad guys are encrypting their stuff now, so we need a methodology of hacking on that to try to break passwords, The Playstation 3 – its processing component – is perfect for large-scale library attacks.
While the perverts might be captured and their computers seized, by law (the fourth amendment of the US constitution) they do not ever have to give up their passwords or personal information or any of that jazz to authorities. An ICE computer forensic agent, Douglas Skinner said that a 6 character password has 281,474,976,710,656 different possibilities as to what it could be.
This is where the PS3 comes in. Networked PS3s can process 4 million passwords per second, greatly improving the time taken to crack passwords of the perverts. The PS3 is more economical for them to use because at a $300 price tag per console, it sure beats paying around $800 more for the “Tableau/Dell server combination” they were using before. Unfortunately though, they said they are unable to use the new slim PS3s because of the lack of ability to install another OS like Linux. Way to go Sony.
The ICE is hoping to buy 40 more original PS3s via ebay and such on top of the 20 they already have being used for this. Despite the temptation, the agents at ICE have resisted playing the consoles and continue to only use them for this serious task. I admire them, I would have probably ended up playing Uncharted 2 or the God of War III demo on one of them and then in-turn gotten fired.