FBI Uses PS3s to Catch Pedophiles

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FBI Uses PS3s to Catch Pedophiles

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Xbox 360 owners may stop fictional criminals in Crackdown, but the PS3 is being used to stop actual crime - by helping FBI agents crack passwords on computers used by child pornographers.

With a warrant, government investigators can seize the computers and hard drives of suspected child pornographers, but data is often encrypted, and the Fourth Amendment - which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures - makes it illegal to force or otherwise coerce suspects into coughing up their passwords. So, what do you do when you need (relatively) cheap processing power? You turn to Sony's PS3.

"Bad guys are encrypting their stuff now, so we need a methodology of hacking on that to try to break passwords," said Claude E. Davenport, a senior special agent at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center (aka C3). "The Playstation 3 - its processing component - is perfect for large-scale library attacks."

In order to crack a password, one has to try every possible permutation of characters. In a six-digit password, the number of different possibilities is 256 to the sixth power, or 281,474,976,710,656 - yes, that's more than 281 trillion. A network of powerful PS3s, all running custom software, can try 4 million passwords every second, and while this still results in a maximum possible time of 70,368,744 seconds (1,172,812 minutes, 19,546 hours, 814 days, 2.23 years) to try every single combination, it's much faster than a human could ever hope to do.

While any current-gen gaming console (well, maybe not the Wii) possesses the number-crunching power to perform these calculations (they possess the number-crunching power to render CryEngine graphics, of course), and are all significantly cheaper than the ~$8,000 Tableau/Dell server combinations that were being used for this task before, the FBI uses the PS3 thanks to its adaptability and the ease of installing Linux - at least, on the older models. The new PS3 Slims aren't as adaptable as the old models, so the FBI has turned to sites like eBay to snatch up an additional 40 old-school PS3s for a total of 60 consoles.

Plus, you have to figure that the agents can sit down for a round of Killzone 2 on the weekends when not busy to put suspected child-porn producers behind bars.

The PS3: It can convict kiddy-diddlers, investigate black holes, and it plays Blu-Ray movies, too!

(Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, Via Axcess News via CVG)

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The PS3, it only does EVERYTHING. :)

Let's not forget: helps cure cancer - http://www.joystiq.com/2006/08/24/help-cure-cancer-with-your-ps3/

I mean seriously, this thing does it all XD

CantFaketheFunk:

The PS3: It can convict kiddy-diddlers, investigate black holes, and it plays Blu-Ray movies, too!

It would seem the only thing the PS3 can't do is come at a price just a little easier to manage for penny-pinchers such as myself...
Care to mark down again, Sony?
*crickets*
...Yeah, I thought not.

I guess it's not unreasonable to asume that Helghan also has it's fair share of pedophiles.

You know I hear they'll even let you play games on it soon.

Woodsey:
You know I hear they'll even let you play games on it soon.

Dammit. Ninjad. Cept I was going to say "It does everything except play good games."

Woodsey:
You know I hear they'll even let you play games on it soon.

Wait...all these PS3's they bought...they aren't being used for gaming at all?

I mean, I get the greater good being done here...but isn't this hurting the gaming industry when you don't purchase a single game for your console.

Plus Sony is already selling it at a loss...I figure games made by developers owned by Sony is where they get their cash back...right?

CantFaketheFunk:
...the FBI has turned to sites like eBay to snatch up an additional 40 old-school PS3s for a total of 60 consoles

Oh, well if there buying them second hand then Sony isn't seeing any cash then...

A bittersweet victory for them.

People get to keep raving about your product and its versatility...meanwhile, your pockets remain empty...

Guess they weren't kidding when they came up with the slogan "It does Simply Everything" XD

Yeah, looks like the PS3 really can do everything...Good use of the Cell other than blowing up space Nazis.

In order to crack a password, one has to try every possible permutation of characters. In a six-digit password, the number of different possibilities is 256 to the sixth power, or 281,474,976,710,656 - yes, that's more than 281 trillion. A network of powerful PS3s, all running custom software, can try 4 million passwords every second, and while this still results in a maximum possible time of 70,368,744 seconds (1,172,812 minutes, 19,546 hours, 814 days, 2.23 years) to try every single combination, it's much faster than a human could ever hope to do.

My passwords are 64 digits. Suck on that crypto nerds.

Personally I think they should re-market the original units with backwards compadibility. Maybe it will happen against their current desires due to the influance of the FBI (sighs).

Otherwise I will say I'm a bit surprised the FBI of all groups has to go to such lengths to decrypt passwords.

so Sony changed the PS3 system architecture in order to enable pedophiles? good to know!

Wow the PS3 really does everything!!

Thats cool, that is really cool.

cobra_ky:
so Sony changed the PS3 system architecture in order to enable pedophiles? good to know!

I was wondering if anyone would make that conclusion, heh.

Timelord91:
Wow the PS3 really does everything!!

I want it on the record, I did this joke first.

Dark Templar:
The PS3, it only does

Kids >_>

Sorry, obvious joke.

Avykins:

Woodsey:
You know I hear they'll even let you play games on it soon.

Dammit. Ninjad. Cept I was going to say "It does everything except play good games."

Yes, but... I want to spunk all over Uncharted 2's box, so I could never go there :(

Oh the woes of platform exclusives.

I'd make a "this is why alot of pedophiles prefer the Wii" joke, but it seems to be in bad taste.

TheTygerfire:

Dark Templar:
The PS3, it only does

Kids >_>

Sorry, obvious joke.

Its being used to crack passwords on computers.

Not being used BY pedoes. Your joke is invalid (I think)

Avykins:

Woodsey:
You know I hear they'll even let you play games on it soon.

Dammit. Ninjad. Cept I was going to say "It does everything except play good games."

Well that would be wrong. Mine can play Kingdom Hearts II and a lot of other PS2 games.

Dark Templar:

Timelord91:
Wow the PS3 really does everything!!

I want it on the record, I did this joke first.

There is no "I" in "forum", only "FU".

Wouldn't using some quad PCs be faster?

Vlane:

Avykins:

Woodsey:
You know I hear they'll even let you play games on it soon.

Dammit. Ninjad. Cept I was going to say "It does everything except play good games."

Well that would be wrong. Mine can play Kingdom Hearts II and a lot of other PS2 games.

PS2 can do it too. And costs 1/3 or 1/4 of the price of PS3.

Casual Shinji:

Dark Templar:

Timelord91:
Wow the PS3 really does everything!!

I want it on the record, I did this joke first.

There is no "I" in "forum", only "FU".

There is more than just "FU" you missed "O" "R" and "M".

And I didn't say I was the only one, just that I did it first :P

At least someone found a use for those overpriced blu-ray players.

Dark Templar:
The PS3, it only does EVERYTHING. :)

Dammmnnnn yooouuu I wanted that joke.

Anoctris:
At least someone found a use for those overpriced blu-ray players.

Fanboy alert.

McCa:

Dark Templar:
The PS3, it only does EVERYTHING. :)

Dammmnnnn yooouuu I wanted that joke.

Anoctris:
At least someone found a use for those overpriced blu-ray players.

Fanboy alert.

LoL this article was asking for it. And yhea, this thread is full of haters.

Anoctris:
At least someone found a use for those overpriced blu-ray players.

Woodsey:
You know I hear they'll even let you play games on it soon.

Damnit Ninjad!

Abedeus:
Wouldn't using some quad PCs be faster?

Probably, but it seems that PS3's were used because of te price. When you can get 26 PS3's for the same price as one of the old computers you were using, there seems to be a big incentive to switch, even if you have to build the network yourself.

Good job finding something that deals ith porn, Funk. You're making up for not posting about the Japanese golf underwear earlier today.

Anoctris:

Anoctris:
At least someone found a use for those overpriced blu-ray players.

Woodsey:
You know I hear they'll even let you play games on it soon.

Damnit Ninjad!

Yes, you are not alone you PS3 hater you.

Apparently there is a plague of people with nothing better to do than come to a PS3 thread and spread hate.

You thinkt he FBI could get better hardware than a PS3. I mean super computers..

McCa:

Anoctris:
At least someone found a use for those overpriced blu-ray players.

Fanboy alert.

Xbox $299 vs PS3 $899 - yeah maybe I just like my money more than a brand name.

Oh, did you guys finally get GTA IV going yet...?

Distorted Stu:
You thinkt he FBI could get better hardware than a PS3. I mean super computers..

PS3 IS SUPER COMPUTERS!!! That's what I was lead to believe, anyway! Isn't every computer EVER gonna have cell processors? [/2005]

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