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Thread: World of Spycraft: NSA, GCHQ hacked WoW and Xbox Live, other games

  1. #1
    Rift Disciple
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    Apr 2011

    Default World of Spycraft: NSA, GCHQ hacked WoW and Xbox Live, other games


    Spy agencies used World of Warcraft and other multiplayer games to spy on members of terrorist groups and other targets who used them.
    Juan Pablo Olmo

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    View all…
    Be careful how hard you troll in multiplayer games because the NSA, CIA, and FBI may be listening. According to a briefing paper from the National Security Agency published by The Guardian today, the NSA and its counterpart agency in the United Kingdom made efforts to monitor in-game communications in World of Warcraft, Xbox Live, Second Life, and other games and virtual environments. The FBI, CIA, and other intelligence agencies also have eyes and ears wandering virtual worlds.

    The January 2007 document, provided to The Guardian by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, reveals that the British communications-monitoring agency GCHQ had developed "exploit packages" for Xbox Live and World of Warcraft. NSA analysts proposed selectively targeting exploits for those and other "games and virtual environments" (GVE) based on intelligence that Al Qaeda members and other individuals of interest were using them—potentially to communicate with each other and conduct training.

    "Al Qaida terrorist target selectors and GVE executables have been found associated with Xbox Live, Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other GVEs in PINWALE network traffic, TAO databases, and in forensic data," the report stated. "Other targets include Chinese hackers, an Iranian nuclear scientist, Hizballah, and Hamas members." And the games and virtual worlds not only provided a potential way to monitor communications between these individuals but could also provide their geographic location, information on their social networks (through buddy lists), and a potential way to drop malware onto their computers to collect even more data. "It has been well documented that terrorists are OPSEC and tech savvy and are only getting more so over time," the report noted. "These applications and their servers however, are trusted by their users and make a connection to another computer on the Internet, which can then be exploited."

    The GCHQ "has a vigorous effort to exploit GVEs," the research report stated, and by January 2007, it had already built test versions of "exploitation modules" for Xbox Live and World of Warcraft. The GCHQ had expected to integrate the monitoring of Xbox Live and WoW into its reporting by April of 2008. The report recommended that the NSA use its intelligence data to focus on the agency's own exploit development efforts, and it highlighted the need to keep developing new exploits as targets shifted to new games "as GVEs are found on target computers."

    NSA analysts also saw these exploits as an opportunity to take point in coordinating the already booming virtual surveillance efforts of other agencies due to its network monitoring capabilities. "The FBI, CIA, and the Defense [Human Intelligence] Service all have HUMINT operations in Second Life and other GVEs and are very interested in forming a deconfliction and tipping group that would be able to collaborate on operations," the analyst report stated. Operations within the NSA "should establish a process to deconflict IC-wide ops in GVEs and to develop strategy for collaboration. Members from at least CIA, FBI, DIA, NSA, and GCHQ should participate to make the coordination significant."

  2. #2
    Ascendant Slipmat's Avatar
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    Jan 2011


    Careful guys, Big Panda is watching you

  3. #3
    Telaran Renounced's Avatar
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    Dec 2011


    This isn't new news, but... For those of you who don't know...


  4. #4
    Sword of Telara
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    Sep 2013


    I still don't understand why this is such an issue. Who gives a crap if the government sees me cyber with some fat dude playing a hot female character

    You only have to worry about it if you're up to no good, and if you're up to no good then you deserve all you get.
    Last edited by Asharoth; 12-10-2013 at 01:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013


    TLDR: privacy is a myth, a security blanket for the masses if you like
    Quote Originally Posted by Frailaq View Post

    tl;dr - Trion should do this: Melee = Turret Ranged > Mobile Ranged

  6. #6
    Shadowlander Anasatsudo's Avatar
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    May 2011


    Let's play story-time, shall we?

    Once upon a time, a certain Evil kingdom decided to attack the Good kingdom for whatever reason. The Good king decided that in order to protect his kingdom, he had to enslave the people that had bloodtie's to the Evil kingdom, even though they had been loyal to the Good king for their entire lives, for generations.

    The people where forced away from their families and friends that they had known for their entire lives, where they where forced to live in sub-par shacks, and inadequately fed, most were starved. Even then, the Good king's men interrogated them relentlessly.

    Even after the conflict between the Good and the Evil kingdoms ended, the people in the Good kingdom that were enslaved were never to have found to be disloyal to the Good kingdom.

    Does this story ring a bell? It should.. it is the story of the Japanese-Americans that were sent to "internment camps" during WWII, by the US Government. We have incidences like the above throughout our history as a nation, from the Native Americans, the Japanese-Americans, and even now, Muslims in America are prejudiced against. We have constantly been shown to have "knee-jerk" reactions to every single issue that comes forth.

    What does this have to do with you? You don't do anything wrong? Who exactly determines what is right and what is wrong? Perhaps one day, 5 years, 10 years, 50 years down the road, something happens and the US government decides that people that like "XYZ" are a threat and should be sent to an "internment camp". Perhaps that person will be you? How did they get the information that you like "XYZ"? They got it from the data mining that they are doing today.

    Did you know that the corporate personhood (where a corporation is seen as a "person", and thus deserves the same rights and responsibilities), makes what the NSA is doing illegal under the CFAA act? Not only this, but those that are ultimately responsible can be held for up to 10 years in prison for each offense.

    If entities inside the government are not liable to the letter of the law, then it is expected that neither are the people which the government is liable to. This makes for extremely dangerous precedence, don't you agree? Yet, it could hold up in court, and if someone used that defense, and it held up, then our entire house of cards would come crashing down.

    If you still do not think any of this pertains to you, then, as the saying goes, "ignorance is bliss."

  7. #7
    Rift Disciple Shaolonfeng's Avatar
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    Jun 2013


    Well If i play any of those games my trolling days would sure as hell be over as quickly as our freedom. If i were to eff around with other trollers on the web about weapons of mass destruction, The FBI would show up at my house...
    Shaolonfeng - Lvl 65 Warrior Khazeshini - Lvl 65 Mage
    Natsuno - Lvl 65 Rogue Erystar - Lvl 65 Cleric Tereni - Lvl 8 Primalist
    Grump Queen, Gives no S**ts, Mindless Pyromancer, Full-time Raid Healer

  8. #8
    Prophet of Telara Raistlinxx's Avatar
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    May 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by Shaolonfeng View Post
    Well If i play any of those games my trolling days would sure as hell be over as quickly as our freedom. If i were to eff around with other trollers on the web about weapons of mass destruction, The FBI would show up at my house...
    And when they show up answer the door naked with tin foil on your head and your balls in your hand. Fk those guys, you can monitor and watch me all you want, it doesn't mean im gona change my life , much less care about whose watching me. And how many 12 year olds get mad beacuse you kill them in open world and threaten to bomb your house irl? if they're that interested in raging children maby they should be looking into every college sophmore in over $40,000 worth of student debt?? Theres the guy whose gona start **** when he graduates and cant make his loan payments, let alone support himself.
    Last edited by Raistlinxx; 01-06-2014 at 05:46 AM.

  9. #9
    Rift Master
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    Mar 2012


    I see this as justification for the NSA geeks to play mmos. We mine for ore, they mine for data. Maybe they are the botters, lol.

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