Police have reportedly seized at least one Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) console in raids in Belgium after the attacks. International security services struggle to decrypt communication via Sony’s PlayStation 4, according to Jan Jambon, Belgium’s Interior Minister.
According to Forbes, PlayStation 4 could have offered a range of ways to communicate secretly. It has been suggested for example terrorists could spell out an attack plan in Super Mario Maker’s coins and share it privately with a friend, or two Call of Duty players could write messages to each other on a wall in a disappearing spray of bullets. British and American intelligence agencies have already tried to infiltrate online gaming communities to keep an eye on potential terrorists, according to documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Spies from America’s NSA and the UK’s sister electronic eavesdropping agency GCHQ stalked online games like “World of Warcraft” and “Second Life,” fearing that terrorist or criminal networks could use the virtual worlds to communicate secretly.
“The most difficult communication between these terrorists is via PlayStation 4,” the minister said, three days before the terrorist attacks in Paris. “It’s very, very difficult for our services — not only Belgian services but international services — to decrypt the communication that is done via PlayStation 4.”